Mt.Roberta – Hangglider’s Gully, 5.6
FA – G.Cornell and S.Midwinter, July 2003
From Highway #40 in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Mt.Roberta looms so close to the road, however, it is still a two hour approach to the base of this route. A mountaineering route up a loose gully and ridge for 6 or 7 full rope lengths which is easily scouted from the road. Only one short 5.6 crux with the remainder of the route 5.4 or less, therefore, bring pitons and a few various sized pieces, old Fieres or sturdy boots. It may be something to do when the snow is about to fall, but under winter conditions it would be an avalanche trap. Mt. Roberta sits opposite of Gap Peak on the southwest side of Highway #40.
The original summit register was there as of 2003 and it dates back to 1949! Since then only a half dozen parties have hiked up Roberta from the west and east.
Park at a closed gate turnout before the large bend in the road below the peak (about 7km south of the winter gate at King Creek). Walk to the large bend and cross a small meadow, enter the forest and cross Pocaterra Creek. Hike up the bushy hillside to the scree slope exiting the alleyway in the north face. Scramble up the scree corridor to its’ end and belay on the left.
Climb the 5m left-facing corner beside a wet streak and top out onto a scree slope which is safest for the belayer by hugging along the left wall up until you can cross over right at a notch/drop-off, to a boulder wall with a one bolt belay. Climb the 15m wide gully system above on ledges keeping left, go over a short wall and belay on a tiny ledge on the left. Continue up the gully and move up right and back left over a bulging wall and go for 5m up and belay on cracked rock on the right. Continue up the left side of the loose gully then move up right at the end of a small wall which splits the gully continuing up to the end. Surmount a short steep wall (crux) via a right-facing corner and belay at the back of the ledge. Step over right to a big ledge and belay around the corner (15m short pitch). Go up open broken slabs and ledges to a belay ledge. Move right to a steepening ridge over-looking a drop, on good rock and belay on the ridge at the end of the rope. Hike across the scree chute and up to the summit.
Either descend by dropping into the steep SE bowl and hiking out(route of the first ascent) or walk down the SW ridge to a col and drop down into trees and scree to the old fire road(Pocaterra Lookout) which goes back out to Highway 40 and is the recommended way.