FAs – unknown
For the third edition of Kananaskis Obscure, this slab wins the very first Piolet d’ Or de Obscure Award! In such a category it is a wonderful find to stumble upon which is exactly how it was found. Since it was climbed many moons ago the name Antiques Roadshow is the name we are giving it until the first ascentionists and retro ascentionists come forward. We were all smiles while climbing this great piece of K-Country history and marvelled at all the rusty aged bolts and pitons.
The approach is easy and fast, being less than a 15 minutes hike. Drive Hwy#40 south past Barrier Bluffs and once you descend down the steep hill park in the well-used gravel pit parking spot on the east side of the road for the Mt.Baldy scramble. Hike up the trail along the creek to level ground(2 minutes) then go up left into the forest and soon leave the main trail and traverse above the lip of the forest above the Hwy using animal trails and the odd cairn. Follow this for less than 10 minutes, passing a boulder slide above and soon intersect a good trail. Follow this up and over left to the slab now above you.
There are actually a number of routes you can try here all within 5m of the other on the far left edge of the slab outcrop. The main line, a short two pitch route starts below a overhang and large tree. This is a retro-fitted line with shiny new bolts, each pitch being about 20-25m, the crux is a slabby finish at the top, and there are many ancient fixed pieces to clip along with the bolts. Very ancient pink bolts make up the slab route right of this main line and it starts to the right where a piton can be seen. A third route begins at the same overhang start but heads off left to a bolt and higher bolt, then seems to move back onto the slab proper and follows up a long line of rusty, interestingly placed pitons to the same rap anchor. All the pink bolts and pitons should be clipped with caution, and please leave them for the visual enjoyment of others please. Eight draws should do the trick for the main line.
Since we don’t know the names of these routes they shall be described as you come upon them from the hike up the last bit of scree starting from the right south end, working left(north).
1) 5.5?X : rated R only because all the bolts on this pitch are original, obvious 1/4” pink bolts=DANGER
2) 5.5/6: main line. Start from tree, go over the overhang, up new bolts to 2 bolt belay. Go directly up more bolts to a ledge and a two bolt belay and a plethora of old hardware. Rap. Both pitches are about 25m.
3) A third route begins at the same overhang as main line start but heads off left to a bolt and higher bolt, then seems to move back onto the slab proper and follows up a long line of rusty, interestingly placed pitons to the same rap anchor as the main line. No middle belay point.
4) 5.4: start on right side of lowdown slab. Clip pins to the large roof, go around it, pass new bolts to anchor.
5) use gear to go over overhang from the slab directly.
6) from left edge of low slab clip old hardware up, over the left end of slab/large roof. No top anchor info.
7) 5.7: walk around slab to left facing corner. Get on the rock, clip fixed pro, make a cruxy move, get into the crack/shallow corner and clip old gear to tree belay. Fun route. Med. nuts, cams will help. (30m)