Wild 10-Pitch 5.11 on EEOR Near Canmore is The Alt-Left

The route has become one of the most popular 5.11 lines on the big wall

May 7th, 2020 by | Posted in Profiles, Rockies, Routes |

Steve Holeczi and Marc Piche have been establishing routes in the Canadian Rockies for over 20 years. Both IFMGA mountain guides, they are two of the more knowledgeable rock climbers based in Alberta.

Piche has published information on their new route called The Alt-Left, a 335-metre 5.11b that climbs EEOR, the popular wall on Mount Rundle above Canmore.

The first ascent was in August, but they waited until the route had a few ascent before releasing the beta. The Alt-Left is climbed in 10 pitches at: 5.9, 5.10c. 5.10d, 5.9, 5.9, 5.10d, 5.11a/b, 5.10d/A0, 5.11b and 5.8.

It should be considered a serious line. Climbers who attempt it should be proficient at climbing 5.11 on limestone while placing gear. There is an A0 section that might require you to place a cam between two bolts depending on your reach.

It has been repeated a handful of times. You can see more information on their Facebook post here. New routing on EEOR is a big undertaking and their hasn’t been much development over the past 15 years. A decade ago, a major rockfall from a buttress left of the MacKay Route (one of the obvious ramp features) destroyed a long-term project called The Bird.

The Alt-Left starts near the popular route True Grit 5.10. Nearly 20 years ago, Sean Isaac was working on a steep project above True Grit, but bailed due to the position above the lower pitches. Any rockfall from cleaning would have landed on climbers below.

The Alt-Left is the first new route to climb this section of the wall since Brian Greenwood and team made the first ascent of Reprobate in 1971. In 2007, Jeff Relph and Brett Lawrence established the 500-metre 5.11b/c called Hand in the Honey Pot, which has had a number of repeats. It climbs a steep section of rock farther north on the wall.

10 Must-Do EEOR Routes

True Grit: 5.10b 6p Bolted
Geriatric: 5.9 7p
Generosity: 5.9 13p
EEOR’s Tail: 5.9+ 10p
Reprobate: 5.10c 11P
Hand in the Honey Pot: 5.11
Guides Route: 5.6 16p
Drop Out 5.10 13p
Raptor: 5.10d 9p Bolted
Girls Lie: 5.11 14p

Approximate line of The Alt-Left 5.11 on EEOR