Asteroid Belt and Fern Gully
routes by G.Cornell, winter-summer 2006
River Crossings: likely the best two options to cross are near the beginning. The First Crossing option is at a spot between the Beaver Flat campground and Old Tracheodon where the river is broken with a sandbar at some rocks. For the Second Crossing, hike down the trail from Old Tracheodon about 150m and find a low erratic just off the trail. There is a cairn built directly on the Father side.
Depending on the river crossing you choose, hike up the bank and walk south along the rim. From the First Crossing it’ll be about 200m and from the Second Crossing only a few feet until a narrow forest cutline( flags) appears. For boulders along the river simply continue hiking parallel to the river, but for routes in the upper forest take this cutline.
Follow it straight for 50m and at the hillside, go into the trees 25m to the Enchanted Forest Boulder. From here, gain the hill above staying on the ridge proper until you pop over the upper rim and into woods and soon the Lego Piece. From here it is possible to take a multitude of ways to catch onto boulders but following flagging may be the best choice.
It is very easy to get lost on the Father side of things, but to get back to the river it is recommended to either return this way or descend the ridge directly from Southern Depression. It is also a very pleasant walk to follow just above the rim overlooking the valley. To just hike from the Lego Piece up into the Asteriod Belt to Pluto, past the Tree of Knowledge and down Southern Depression, and along the rim back to the Lego Piece, takes about 40 minutes. Beautiful Alberta bouldering!
79)Land of the Lost, V0-3*** From White Waco, walk up the hill directly and into a rockslide in the forest. It is the first long wall blocking the gully. a)SS and go up the deep crack on fun holds. b)start on the slabby rock to the right using sweet right pull to get going. c)on the far left- SS low, up to side pull and over lip. d)SS off foot heuco to big jugs over.
80)Life Destroying Boulder, V0* Go up Fern Gully. SS, pinchgrip, heuco, nice heel hook, reach for the top.
81)Heraldo, VB Awkward SS up slab with some help from the edge.
82) Topaz, VB-2** Nice looking boulder a bit higher up the gully. a)up the grey face. b)SS up left face to nice holds. c) start low and go up the nose. d)SS using part of the descent block to blank slab. e)SS backside, get up to boot flake feature. f)project outta the dark hole.
83) The Eclipse, V1*** As you enter the bottom termination of the boulder runout of Asteroid Belt, this is up on the left. a)SS up the big, black flake on right ledges, then left rail to cool jugs. b)SS up west arete. c)SS from a hold and go up the south slab face.
84)Debris Itself, VB Out in slope. SS off heuco and go up crack; very silly.
85) Dr.Zaius, Dr.Zaius, V2** Up the Asteroid Belt gully just in trees on the right. Lay in the tiny cave on the uphill side and go over many jugs. Or SS over left from a flake to crud. Undercut mossy west side is still unclimbed.
86)Failed Planet, VB SS up nice horizontal cracks.
87)Alien Life, V0 Crouch from center dishes on face, up and off right. b)up easy slab passing snail fossil.
88) Craterface, V0* Backside of rock next to Alien Life. SS in hole, up steep ledges to cool hole in the top.
89) Out of Orbit, V2*** Good place to chill in pretty forest.Walk north from Earth. a)crouch under the nose and pull over it on sweet holds. b)layback the center crack. c)up short,blank sub-face.
90) NASA Pad, V1** In scree beside Neptune. a)fun north face traverse from right to left. b)over the left bulge beside a boulder.
91) Neptune, V4*** From right side of blank face, use tiny crack on ledge to reach the only good dish above. Crux is switching hands and foot smearing the face to mantle over left side.
92) Earth, V3*** a)on the side with the tree, crouch to jug reach to top and enjoy the hard mantle out. b)nose project. c)on scree side; SS from far right bulge, up to finger pocket and further good holds.
93) Close Encounters, V1* Set in the woods.Finger pull off slab, paw arete to top and mantle over the blank face.
94) Uranus, V0 SS block/crack near top of Asteroid Belt.
95) Pluto, V1* Hike to the top of talus on the right, Pluto’s face is obvious. Alone in winter it’ll seem far from home. Go up right face using the neat edge but abandon it and smear the blank face to a slot.