North Bridge Cliff
FAs- G.Cornell and G.Castillo, May 2017
To get to the North Bridge Cliff, drive 7.9km from the Powderface Trail – Sibbald Road junction and park on the east in a large muddy parking zone which is a somewhat popular spot for people to pull over, stretch their legs, toss rocks in the river, sit in a lawnchair etc opportunities of sheer relaxin. This is mud area is just on the north side of the bridge and is very obvious and likely one of the bigger parking spots along the entire Powderface Trail.
Cross the road and walk parallel to the river along a slight animal trail that sits between the right hillside and the trees/river. About 50m is a cairn at a tiny boulder and if you look toward the river you should see a white river marker attached to the tree, and, if you look right up the grass hill you should be in line with the basic termination of the cliffband. Walk up toward the rock and follow a slight animal trail that is flagged/cairns. At one point soon in, it drops down and heads out in a NE way, then continues obviously up the slope zig-zagging until under the rockface. It undulates and swings about and its not very well trodden so the flagging helps. HIgher up its a rather pretty hike in spots. Eventually the trail goes straight up and ends directly at one of the routes. Typical time would be about 10 minutes from the car.
North Bridge Cliff is, well, positioned next to the most northern bridge along the Powderface Trail. This cliff could still have maybe 4-6 new lines on it if someone was willing to spend the time exploring – if so be warned the rock is a very solid makeup of conglomerate and some bullet hard sandstone or quartz?(It can eat bits if you don’t watch where you place any bolts.) And it should be the way here to use all good gear placements before any bolts are placed- lets try to keep this as natural as possible). Very seldom will you be pulling on full conglomerate holds at all, but it is in the rocks underlying the surface in spots. The three routes described are all under 15-20m but relying on gear- great for the most part- makes the lines kinda fun, exciting and on nice rock with always a sunny nature. You may certainly appreciate the ground-anchor bolt per route(all others are abandoned and await future ascents from new blood) as the grass slope is angled and can give one a fine tobaggan ride into the forest.
This small open book is where you start directly above the trail. The rock is really nice, the gear is nice and is just plain fun. Climb the open book(small nuts or ballnuts) and reach a bolt. Head up and traverse left to an obvious crack and follow its upper half and over the top, then follow a cool sidepull a bit right and once under the cliff top, start traversing left and keep traversing left until you reach the two bolt anchor close to the tree. Gear used: #1, #2, #.75 cams, orange ballnut or medium nut.
Nightmare in Daylight, 5.9
The first half of this exciting route requires serious concentration as the steep slab is not too liberal with the holds and you have to place small gear(black Tri-cam or similiar sized piece) before you reach the bolt. Start to the left of the anchor bolt and go up to the narrow crack and use grace to get to that bolt. Continue up and left then right to a small ledge with some good gear potential and two bolts. Move around right and the ledge gets larger and dirtier so best to get back climbing just left of the upper wide crack. Cool pulls off virtually anything you grab takes you to the cliff summit! Traverse right to the two bolt anchor. Gear used: #3 and #4 cam, pink, black red tricams, medium nuts.
Character Actor, 5.8
Short but sweet. The most northern line is about 10m from Nightmare in Daylight, and you will need a medium nut to anchor off should you chose to do so. Start on the right side of the cracked rock and go up the rock above to good holds and move left into the cracked corner. Go up and stand atop a good ledge of white rock(good medium nut in the back). Go straight up fun jugs and keep left of the rounded buttress the whole way, eventually moving right to the two bolt anchor. Gear used: red and black tricams, #.5 cam, medium nuts.