Urs Hole Boulder
First off use a pad unlike the dummy in the photo, that way you can enjoy your season sans twisted ankle! (that never happened but still…)
A fun but minimally entertaining boulder found in the avalanche runout about 100m below the ice route Urs Hole on Cascade Mountain.
There are a number of ways to get up it from the easy busted ledges on the NE corner to the slabby north facing choices, the easy descent on the west corner or the overhung to blank slab south face.
The obscure mystery of this rock is that there is a bolt stud protruding from 3/4 way up the blank glassy south face which seems placed too low for a TR- so was it on the rockwall above somewhere a route could have been, it sheared off the face – the chunk fell and rolled to its resting spot without crushing the stud?! This boulder has been there at least since the route ‘Valleyview” was first climbed as a photo exists of it from that time, thus more than likely a TR which would be a challenging problem like anything below that slick east side. The creek and waterfall make a very pleasant backdrop. The top of the boulder is very narrow and feels catlike to cross it to the descent. The north face grey rock is the most fun – the middle section looks like the best line but certainly requires a mat.
To get here, drive north on the Lake Minnewanka Road from Hwy #1 and after about 1km turn right onto the road for Two Jack Lake. Follow it down briefly and a monter sized gravel parking area with restrooms is found to the east. Parking here for the boulder or Valleyview and other climbs nearby is the safest as the Minnewanka road is a dangerous place to park. Cross the road from the huge parking lot and take a open meadow for 100m that leads up to the Minnewanka Road and carefully cross it and continue up the right side of the gravel avalanche washout. You may have to cross over the creek a time or two but is an easy 10-15 minute hike to get to the boulder. Yes that is dense avalanche snow in the creek bed – the destruction around here is eye-opening! Bring a pad and spotter!
And why not stroll some history at the end of the day- if you have not been to the old town ruins of Bankhead just a few kms north down the road,you should go spend an hour checking out this neat site.(free)