Crater Rock, Calgary
Anyone who has lived in Calgary for a long time can attest that the subdivisions of Panorama Hills area were not around in the mid-1990s, as to get to Crater Rock back then you had to drive ‘out’ of the city on a gravel range road, park and cross a farmer’s field without being noticed, to go for a bouldering session. Hard to say when exactly the year Crater Rock was first bouldered on.
To get to Crater Rock you no longer have to take a range road, but basically get yourself to Country Hills Blvd from whichever part of the city your fleeing. If coming from Beddington Trail, turn east off on Country Hills Blvd and drive up the hill, soon passing a gas station and other businesses and at the lights for Panorama Hills Way, turn left(north) and within a few seconds you will see the small city park with the boulder(also known as Buffalo Rubbing Stone). Turn left onto the road that borders the small grassy park and park along the park edge.
Bring a pad, spotters if need be, and have fun. There is a sitting bench near the north end of the problems – take care of its position when climbing lines above the wooden bench. Please be very considerate of the homeowners nearby.
Again rockiesobscure wants to thank Glenn Reisenhofer for supplying us with the old photos he took and the beta he has collected over the years to have it here for those unfamiliar with this awesome city rock. The front cover art is Neil Winder bouldering back in the day.
Glenn dug up Jeff Marshall’s recollection of Crater Rock….
Jeff Marshall says he has been going up to Split Rock and Crator since the late 70s, and mentioned that others had gone there earlier. To quote him …”I was going out there around 40 years ago or so but bouldering was probably alive and well in the early 70s.” He loved Split Rock and used it early in the season for fitness. I first visited Crator in 1983 and met Blob from the CMC. Certainly the rock was in a crator then as you remember. Always collected water in the spring. Muck more like it. People would bring rugs to stand on. An old rusty truck hood laid nearby. Some wag came up one day when I was
there and buried his dog. We didn’t know for we were on the opposite side. After he left we ventured around and noticed the scuffed up earth and a recent very large spray painted memorial (on the rock) to his dog. Very sad to see the neighbourhood arrive and the demise of the rock. The present soil level is higher than when I first went there in ’83. We didn’t go there very much especially with all the houses around. The trees have now grown in and the place is somewhat private again. Sort of. The summer with all the leaves hides the houses. We still clean all the garbage up from around the place.
Start on your butt under the big roof. Moving the gravel out of the way may help to get under the roof. Start with the large holds or smaller side pulls to start (depends on how far you can get under the roof). Head up and left to very large holds for both hands. Another big move up and left to either a side pull or better, a big hold above. From this use either side of the rounded arête on crimps to the top. Start as for problem 1. Instead of heading up left to the arête go up with difficulty using the crack. Small horizontal holds help to get established before the crack. Again start at problem number 1. Head up and right to very good side pulls. Head up left of the old drill hole using the horizontal breaks. Start directly below the very large ledge. Aim for this ledge and a right side pull. Smaller horizontal holds are useful above this point. Using the side pull while walking your feet up will help.
Problems 5 through 7 are very similar all using various horizontal breaks. Easy and good warm ups. Traversing these is also good for warming up. Rightside is easier.
8. Try to stay close to the arête using the little brown bat hold and other horizontal holds.
9. Easier version of number 8. Again, try to stay close to the arête.
10. A tricky powerful problem. Start on the two heavily chalked holds. The left hold is quite bulbous. Pull to the small crimps and continue up and right avoiding the easy holds of the arête to the left. The obvious heel hook is out both for heeling hooking and standing on. However, using this makes for a good set of moves in its own right. Try with the heel hook first, then avoid it to see the difference.
11. Starting just right of the alcove head up the slightly overhanging wall. A mix of big and small holds.
12. Similar to problem 11, but slightly harder. Avoid the right arête.
13. An easy problem with good holds.
14. The ramp route. Very simple. Good for an easy introduction. Also used as a descent.
15. Start as for the ramp route go right off the ramp and over the small overhang.
16. Locate the tiny pocket in the seam near the top of the problem. Below are two very nice jugs in sequence. Use whatever is necessary and aim for the tiny pocket.
17. Start low on sharp edges and huck for the semi arching crack. Easy once feet are establish. Tricky to get that far…
18. Lev’s Problem. Yes, a sit start has been done. The arête is out.
19. Traverse the rock 3x and you cannot touch the top ever. Bit tricky around the corner where the benches are. Many good rests to be had.