Bunchgrass Boulders, Powderface
routes cleaned and climbed by G.Cornell and G.Castillo, Oct. 2016 and June 2017
Found 4.85km from the Powderface Trail and the Sibbald Road junction, the Bunchgrass boulders can be found by parking in a small pullout next to the creek. These boulders are near impossible to spot from the road and are sheltered from tree coverage. The main boulder that appears to be balancing has not be climbed but has been cleaned partially where the most obvious descent would be on the east backside; some of the north overhang has been cleaned a bit too but not attempted. Needs young guns!
The creek is safest to cross from July onward but always be sure when crossing flowing water that its within your acceptable range of safety. Drop down from the road, walk up slightly upstream to where a slab can be seen across the creek- aim for this. Shin deep spots can be easily found and make a crossing toward the low rock slab. Go up and right on the opposite bushy bank and once level, go north about 25m into the woods and onto a flat plateau of land. The first boulder called Spondylus should be obvious from here.
A separate boulder from the pack can be found walking along a flagged trail heading north for 5 minutes on the plateau. This is the Marooned boulder. Or from Spondylus, walk south and up the bunchgrass to the main area. The climbed lines here sit up and seconds east of the main unclimbed balanced and largest boulder.
Spondylus, V1- reddy overhung rock. Start low on the right(NE) side and traverse the edge around to the west side and go up the short slab to the top. Very fun warm-up.
Marooned, V0 – found by following flagging for 5 minutes north of Spondylus. Sits next to a hillside. Use your hiking shoe on the snapped branch to avoid injury as in the photo! Climb the slab arete to the top, turn and traverse the east face until you end at a fallen tree. Walk down.
Half a Peace Sign, V0/1 – found just up behind the main balancing boulder, a slabby wall with an unclimbed left end. Start below a very obvious slot and climb up to the slot. Go up under the overlap and traverse down and right to the slab edge which you follow up to the top. Best to have a spotter here as your pad sits on a tobaggan run or anchor it off with a long sling.
Gaston Guardia, VB/0 – from the top of slab, walk over north a few seconds to this juggy neat outcrop. Start beside a tiny spruce, go up and traverse the top rail and descend down near the right arete and back up. Goof around.
Scenic Route, V2 - from a low good jug, make some tricky moves to slap the top of the boulder and ride the crest of it back into the forest and walk off. You can hike down from here instead of returning the way you got here.