Summer Evening Crag
FAs- G.Cornell, J.Miller and M.Bhaiji and J.Krouthen , Summer 2012
First spotted from the top of Barrier Mountain with binoculars, at first glance the approach seemed to far, however in reality it is relatively easy and fast and is simply a very different visual for an approach. The rock is very solid kinda like buried conglomerate with a tuff coating. This SW facing two-tiered cliff has a few good cracks with bolts supplementing blank slab. Could be seen as a good novice gear leading crag just as the cover of Kananaskis Obscure #3 shows Swedish climber Johannes Krouthen on his first ever gear placing lead.
Summer Eveing Crag is located about 11.7km from the Sibbald-Powderface junction(or 2km from Hwy#40) or about 1/2km east of the Lusk Creek picnic parking area(which makes a great early morning biffie break). Drive slightly uphill and park on the west side of the road near a guardrail and yellow sign, across from where two triangular grass man-made slopes touch the road. Traverse hike up the right triangle that has two large ledges part way up. Head far right to the top and find a trail that heads back and up into the forest overlooking a slight ravine. You have just completed the crux of the hike lung-wise! Follow flags staying left towards the more open areas. Dip into the forest briefly and go up the trail and soon emerging from the forest entirely, now ten minutes from the car.
Summer Evening Crag is the low grey slabs 20 minutes away across the meadow. Pick an adventurous line over the rough terrain, picking up bits of logging road and trails(flagging).
Once you very close you will cross an obvious old road used to log this meadow which is littered in cut up trees and stumps. Head to the toe of the outcrop through a wispy field. For 5 routes along the lower tier, now follow it into the woods to an old scree slope. Four short but purely gear routes are here with two sets of rap anchors. Continuing further along the wall one minute to the 5th route, a blank slab that ends at the obvious large tree. It should be noted that from this tree, confident parties can scramble the easy brief broken ledges to the upper tier and middle tier routes.
To climb routes on the upper tier, follow a trail up from the toe of the outcrop for 5 minutes which will spit you onto a large boulderfield. Just before the boulders a wonderful, shady, grassy spot makes for a wonderful basecamp.
GEAR: set of nuts, cams to 3″, small hexs and Tri-cams help. No pins necessary. A 50m rope will do the trick.
1)Exploited Crack Left, 5.6- go up thin crack on the arete of the grey slab to bolted belay.
2)Exploited Crack Right, 5.6 – take the wider crack just to the right, passing a tiny tree, to same bolted belay.
3)Warhorse, 5.7 – take a rough slab to a ledge and a crack/corner up to a bolted belay.
4)Warhorse 2, 5.7 – climb the steeper wall on the right side of the bluff, go right and up to same bolt belay.
5)California Tree, 5.9 – from the small scree slope, walk one minute into the forest then back to the open slab around a tree. Follow 4 bolts up crimpy, cold slab to a nice big tree ledge/belay. Rap from tree or confidentally scramble up briefly to the next tier or rock.
MIDDLE TIER: the Middle Tier is more like a sheared off blob of rock that has come to rest in this spot and is found near the far east end of the outcrop.
6)Pennyfarthing, 5.6 – climb the sharp left edge of the blob from a tiny overhang. Tricky. Small gear here.
7)International Waters, 5.10a – climb the center overlap to a bolt, to another overlap and bolt, and up a groove to a two bolt belay near the far left tree.
8)Magically There, 5.6 – climb right slab to a cool side pull that aligns you to then go hard left along a brilliant invisible sweet horizontal crack. Go through the same groove and shared two bolt belay on the left.
UPPER TIER: the Upper Tier is the entire section above the large boulderfield. Starting from the western most end above the shaded basecamp.
9)The Picasso of Loneliness, 5.7 – start few meters left of the big tree. Head up the excellent splitter crack(as seen on the cover of Kananaskis Obscure 3) following it slightly left through some easy overhangs and once near the top head right to a small ledge and two bolt belay.
10)Piolet d’ Ore, 5.9 – same start as Picasso, but head right very soon and up the first overlap on the left side to access a wonderfully continuous crack that follows underneath the upper overhang. Keep jogging rightward to use it, until your forced up the arete to a fixed piton on the upper east slab wall. from here go straight up and left to surmount the horn, then the same two bolt belay.
11)Desperate Living, 5.8 – only line on the open slab which is capped by orange overhangs on its’ right end. climb up the center to a high bolt. Go up and right on steep terrain(small nuts) to a second bolt. Climb up to the overhang and find a beautiful splitter 1″ crack in the grey slab. Handjam/layback this up to a big nice ledge with a small white spruce and two bolt belay.
12)Naughty Stewardesses, 5.8 – a very short two pitch climb that starts at the right end of the slab where a head-height crack/overhang forms a sheltered belay and gear stashing area spot. Pitch 1: from the hovel, climb nice slabby left-facing corner until you can stand at its’ end. Reach right to clip the bolt on the right slab and stretch under it to a thin crack. Go up easy blocky ledge to a two bolt belay beside a tree. Pitch 2: traverse left to a photogenic ledge. Go up to steep exposed overhangs. Surmount directly on a wonderful jug, moving left and up to a two bolt belay over the lip.
13)Haunting the Chapel, 5.6 – hike up a short slope to below this cracked slab wall. Take the left crack moving right near the top and over a block to a two bolt belay.