Quickie problems on worthwhile rock, up to V2. Bring a pad and a spotter as the fall is on a slight slope. Best not to boulder here in the mid-week as it sits very close but not on land used by dumptrucks – if you go, go in the setting sun. Drive Hwy#1A and park in the lot designated for those accessing Rat’s Nest Cave. Walk north into the trees and take the good trail through and around the creek washout following it up the opposite side. After only a minute if, cross down the rubble slope and directly east(cairns) to a exposed section of grey rock. Again, do not go anywhere near the gravelpit. Few problems tackle the center face or traverse in low from the left, topouts are the crux. 5 minutes from the car. Cleaned in 2007.
The Baldspot problems are all on the central grey section of the rockwall.
Approach comes in from the left side of the pic below in slideshow.
Leo ‘61 Boulder
Very weird: someone hiked all the way up here and scrawled LEO BRE?? in some sort of green lime in what kinda reads ‘61 or 1981. The blank face with its’ slab topout was attempted but could not be fully completed.
Park at Gap Lake off the #1A.Walk west up the road to a red marker in the ditch. Hike above the rock scar to the open ridge. Walk up it in ten minutes. Hike up left toward a grassy gully and follow this up for 1/2hr. It’s in the woods and hard to find! The compact cliffs you see hiking up are nice.
The Gap Lake Artificial Slide
After the family picnic, slip away for one small line only minutes away.
Off Hwy #1A, park at the picinic spot of Gap Lake.From the road turn-around, walk a trail into the woods to the slide of rock. Hop over the crevasses down to the water where a line takes the arete of the largest one toppled.
Picnic Arete(V0) start low and slap 3 ledges up.
Porcupine Creek Boulder
Park as for Porcupine Creek in K-Country. Follow trail along the creek to the forks and take the left option. Continue along the rocky ground for about half an hour to where the valley tightens in with walls, the boulder sits where it opens up again to a open flood plain.
Murray Ridley ‘81(V0) kinda SS the smooth face that bears the scratched-in name and enjoy fun jug flakes up and over. Do-able in hiking boots.
Established 1990s by “PA”
Too bad this tiny wall was not closer….and then there’s the bushwack. Park at the open drainage barely north of the Kananaskis RCMP station and walk up the left side of the creek and at a cairn, head into the woods for 20 minutes always staying within earshot of the creek. Eventually you’ll enter the creek and cross it twice to get to the wall. Named after an supposed relic of a hiking pole found that was a mophead. The traverse was cleaned by an local with the initials P.A. in the 90s. The traverse is pumpy and there are straight up routes worth trying. Also, a cool grey rib needs a FA just before you get to this wall.
From Canmore, take the Smith-Dorien south and about 500m past the bridge that crosses the canal is a large pullout at the base of a gravel pit/scree washout.Walk up to a boulder group at the pit’s right side, and hike up to the pit top and just in the woods is a low low boulder, about 4 minutes from the car. Various problems and traverse have been done on the Rainshadow Boulder. Cleaned in 2007.
Cougar Creek Pulldowns
There’s many small outcrops up Cougar Creek spread up to Canadian Forks that make fun bouldering spots and most are very clean. Park at Cougar Creek lot and hike for 10min. to the canyon entrance. The first wall can be found about 75m on the left just inside the trees on a flat area that seems to be a perpetual high school party zone. The yellow rock is 2.5m x 4m. Continue up the left side of the creek for 50m to a bulging crag that has great overhanging jugs. Hike the right forested trail between Made in the Shade cliff and Poolside cliff. In the nice forest here are 2-3 outcrops that make good places to burn out the muscles at day’s end. Where the trail emerges at Poolside, a grey rectangular boulder can be traversed on decent rock. The more crazy friend may try to make some problem outta the boulder jutting from the rushing creek directly in front of Poolside. Look about.
Li’l Gaffer is a crag halfway to Grotto Slab on the left side of the creek. Hike up Grotto Creek past His/Hers Falls, past the hoodoo, past Armadillo Buttress, then the 10m high Li’l Gaffer sits opposite the valley from a big low angle slab. It’s a deserted project from the mid-90s and the result is many 3” empty holes about. Fun bouldering-bring a pad. Follow the holes! Walk off.
North Lower Narrows
There’s a good bouldering traverse at the entrance to The Narrows on the north side directly opposite the sport route ‘Mighty Mite’. Start at its’ lowest point and go left on some good jugs and bulging grey rock. Bring a pad or walk-off to the right.
This is not the same as the Buller Boulder(see Kananaskis Obscure #2) but very nearby. Random, mostly unclimbed scattered boulders coming down from the north side of Buller; go explore maybe something will come of it. Drive Smith-Dorien south past the Spray Lakes Dayuse a few kilometers to a large parking area on the east side of the road. Walk directly into the deep woods ten pretty minutes to where the forest ends at the open slopes/boulderfield. Two boulders can be found near each other above. A long way up the high east slope is a few more climbed-on lines and from here if you walk due north ten minutes also high up is a lone boulder easily seen from the car amongst flowers.
The single Buller Boulder is on the far left(north) side of the boulder slide which touches the Smith-Dorrien and is found a short drive further north up the road from the previous slides. Park in a big pullout on the west fronting the slide. Hike down and over left 100m. Only 6ft tall it’ll take a whole 10 minutes outta your life, less than the movie did!
A – Buller Circle(V0) start near the back tree and traverse the entire rock, changing to the lower ledge on the west.
B- Buller’s Day Off(V0) SS on the west face, hard reach to a fin, grab one step then the flat top and up.
Hard to spot, sitting along a secluded part of the east shore of Spray Lake it’s only a minute from the car making it a nice lunch spot or morning coffee. Named after a infamous Banff artifact kept at the Indian Trading Post, this polished 7ft egg sits with driftwood and Mt.nestor views. Park on the west 1km past Spurling Creek.Opposite side should be a landscaped hill. Peer thru tree curtain to see it which obscures any gawkers. Climbed in 2004/5 G.Cornell
A-East Face (VB) up slab seam, no sides.
B-NE Arete (V3) SS, bad feet, dyno up to the ledges.
C-NW Face (V0) up face using shallow corner. Pad in pic
D-(VB) go up the depression facing the lake.
established September 2004
The Fishing Boulders on the opposite side of the lake are not worth the drive but are O.K. evening fun if you are camping at Spray Lakes West Campground. From the Smith-Dorrien Trail, drive over the 3 Sisters Dam at the north end of the lake. Take the road south through the campground for 5km to the locked gate and park. One boulder is down the road 50m overlooking the lake. For the other, take a trail from the car lot to the lake in 100m; it’s in a peaceful spot with driftwood and peninsula. Expect odd stares from fish.
Fishing#1, VB 50m down the road; start lakeside in trees and handrail out and around to the roadside on fun jugs. Sharp in spots.
Fishing#2, V0 SS(sit-start) up edge between the 2 stumps in photo, then go right. On the SE side, SS up edge and reach to jugs traversing off left to slab.
established May 1997, G.Cornell
A boulder with controversy. Apparently, the short bolted routes on this rock stirred up the mindset of some causing the removal of hangers twice. Anyway, park as for Kanga Crag and walk up the obvious trail for less than 10 minutes. Walk offs. Now they can rest with a V grade.
The Banger in Tights(V1) up the left ramp of studs.
Feathered Hair(V4) up studs right of center.
Maybe some alpine potential here at Burstall Pass directly below the runout slab climbs. The rock seems pretty good but may be a tad far. Park and hike up to Burstall Pass and cut through some trees to get to the jumble. Beware of bears.
If you want to get every bit of worth outta that $1.10/per litre gas in your tank, drive from Longview west. About 1 km past the K-Country entrance sign, park at a tourist sign for “Highwood Rangelands”. Boulder is visible 5 minutes up the grassy hill above the road scar. Good for a sunset….*Due to flooding in 2013 this pullout may have vanished?
A) SS the small overhang and go up on good holds to a dicey topout on black algae.(V1)
B) SS up the black right, east flakes, also a scarey topout.(V1)
C) Climb the ugly west crack.(VB) Cleaned in 2005
Upper Beach Boulders
A great place to escape, suntan and do two small but kinda fun boulder problems on a beach with an amazing view of the lake.
Park as for the Everest Expedition Trail and follow it for five minutes to a fork. Go right(west) briefly and find a way down to the obvious boulders on the beach. Find the perfect couch-like spot against a tilted slab for your blanket and then spot the two boulders in front of another. Climb each face for what it’s worth.
If you hike south on the ridge overlooking the water, you will pass the remnants of an old chimney that was once a homestead, continue out onto the photogenic peninsula to relax.
The Tiki Idol, V0
established summer 2000
From Longview, drive Highway #541 to Kananaskis. There once was a paved pullout but has since been removed so park off the road now, 5m west of the Texas gate and 100m before the Kananaskis sign. The boulder is easily seen from the road.
Caution: the boulder may not be within Kananaskis boundaries…? Do not access if unsure.
A traverse of the north side has been done and south crack cleaned however it was not possible to top out over icecap that formed the top thus in incomplete ascent since. Landings are tame.