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The Halfpipe in Canmore Has a Splitter 5.10 Trad Corner

The three-pitch 5.10 is located on the north face of EEOR on Mount Rundle

Photo by: Adam Campbell

In 2018, I teamed up with pro-runner Adam Campbell for two first ascents on Mount Rundle. The approach to the first bowl behind EEOR takes less than an hour, but few climbers visit the area.

I first checked the area out in 2007, alone and with a bag full or hardware, and began work ground-up on a nice looking line on the north face of EEOR. After placing eight bolts, I rappelled and could never find a partner willing to head up. My goal was a steep splitter crack in a corner. I later spotted a line on the second buttress of Rundle above the first bowl.

On the approach, we were soaked by a big storm, but continued to the base of the second buttres. We then made the first ascent of Homage to the Warden, a 350-metre 5.6 with some nicer rock on Rundle that I’ve climbed on.

The route climbs a small wall to a ledge to a 140-metre ridge before a traverse to a headwall and another ridge. We hung out on the summit and talked about other projects that we could see in the distance.

I would recommend it for those looking for a mini-alpine route, as it’s good practice for longer climbs like those found on Castle or Mount Louis. We named it in honour of Tim Auger, the legendary search and rescue specialist and park warden who passed away this summer. I had climbed with Auger on Mount Louis and listened to many of his amazing stories over the years.

Campbell and I descended back into the first bowl to check out my 2007 project. Armed with a rack of gear, pitons and one rope, I climbed up the slab that I bolted 11 years earlier.

On pitch-one of The Halfpipe. Photo Adam Campbell

The rock was solid, and the movement was excellent at 5.10b. Above my last bolt, I placed a few cams before building a piton anchor at the base of the main crack.

Campbell seconded the first pitch and joined be at a semi-hanging belay. The second pitch was slightly intimidating because I wasn’t sure how hard it would be, how dirty it was or how well I was going to be climbing.

The crack started narrow for my hands and I couldn’t get a solid jam, but the gear was bomber and with Campbell’s encouragement, I made it through the crux and into the hand crack where I jammed up to a ledge. After 35 metres, I pounded in another piton anchor.

Campbell found my crux section easier because of his hand size, but found the upper section trickier. We graded it 5.10b. It’s the best limestone crack I’ve climbed in the Rockies.

Splitter pitch-two on The Halfpipe. Photo Adam Campbell

Campbell did one more easy pitch, and we descended a gully, only to find bear prints on our trail.

We named the three-pitch route The Halfpipe in memory of the late Marc-André Leclerc. In 2015, Leclerc free-soloed a 400-metre 5.8 on EEOR and then a 600-metre 5.10 on Ha Ling in a push and called it the “Canmore halfpipe.”

To me, climbing is as much about who you’re climbing with as it is about what you’re climbing. Good partners make the day fun, safe and memorable.

I’ve been lucky over the years to climb with some amazing people and the new routes I establish are only possible because of the stoke they bring. The Halfpipe has one of the best limestone trad pitches in the Bow Valley.

The Halfpipe topo
The Halfpipe summer 2021 ascent. Photo Paul Vera
Lead photo: Adam Campbell