The Highwood Conglomerate Boulders
established November 2003 and Sept. 2005, G.Cornell
A scattering of conglomerate boulders have been developed, the first being the Fallen Star many years back. The four described areas have very short approaches – from seconds to ten minutes. Every prob and even open projects (still open as of 2012) have been well cleaned but carry a brush. Pad necessary but landings are clutter free. Best time is the autumn when Kananaskis peaks are covered in snow and the yellow aspens amongst the rocks are in splendid color. This is moo-cow country and roaming cows staring at you next to boulders is rather calming, so watch where you walk and don’t drop your pad in a paddy! You can camp at Etherington to the south of Highwood House.
The Texas Gate(North)
A dark wall can be seen just north of the Texas Gate past a hilly canyon. Park about 100m north of the gate next to a tiny water culvert. Cross the ditch and go up to an old grassy road(cairn). Head straight uphill through thin trees, pass small boulders and before a long, low flat boulder, head up and left slightly.
The Chicken House is a V-cave boulder and to the right is the way overhung Hawaii Boulder. Just seven lazy minutes from the car. Bring a brush, pad and nerves for the overhang attempt.
The Tar(V1) on the right side of the Hawaii Boulder. Start left of the groove and make hard moves to reach easier ground to the top. Fairly clean and very hard projects await!
Chicken House(V1) a neat problem: get into the Vslot, put hands on the left flake, stem gap using inside V crack, make hard stem out onto the boulder face right staying low, then go straight up to the topout.
The Texas Gate(South)
This is the main area with most problems and potential projects. Fallen Star is seconds away and each rock minutes thereafter. The area lacks a trail but the thin trees make spotting rocks easy. Superb views and pleasant hangout. From highwood Junction drive north 10km, pass Cowbell sport crag and park in the ditch about 50m before the Texas Gate at a dry creek bed – Fallen Star is just visible in the trees. There are some open, cleaned projects on the Bivy Boulder.
a- Fallen Star Boulder: 1)Vacuum Up(V1) first route that was done on south overhang. Crouch in dugout and go up to the crack then to the ridge. A good warm-up. 2)Billy No-Mates(V0) on north side; go over bulge to lip and topout onto slab just right of the cheater stone. 3)Cow’s Behind(V2) from left side of cobbled face, go up, right to lip, leg over….topout yet to be done! Direct start from below(V2).
b- Kookaluuie House: 1)Vitamin(V1) SS in north overhang, use big flake, pull over lip to wicked seated cobble. Go up slab. Fun. 2)Bacon(V0) SS under the east uphill lip and make up moves to enjoy the quick slab finish. Make it funky.
c- Teletubbies Do Hamlet(V0) SS up short flake, reach right to super fun bucket and up.
d- Bivy Boulder: 1)Orion’s(V1) at left edge, crouch and layback over bulge to slab and off crack above.
e- warm-up: going up deep gash or use the right cracked slab moving right to rounded hump to exit(VB).
f- The Coke Nose Boulder(V1) SS and go over the overhung whitened arete to grey wall. Downclimb right side incuts- no topout as of yet. More unclimbed stuff here awaits!