Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I recently discovered this band that blends horns, soul, jazz and funk to make a really incredible sound. They are from Staten Island, New York and I guarantee their music will get your head bobbing. Here's a track!

Song: Chicago Falcon - The Budos Band

Echo Canyon - New Canmore Rock Climbing Destination

A few years ago I found a topo for a crag called the Hideaway located between Cougar Canyon and Bataan on Grotto Mountain. If you have ever been to Bataan or taken a look at Grotto from Canmore, you can see a big "grotto" (cave like canyon running the height of almost the whole mountain) on the left face of the mountain. This is Echo Canyon. There is now a ton of climbing up there, tons of walls and 3 big multi-pitch classics. This is THE place to go if you are climbing between 5.11 & 5.13. Bring a 70m rope, lots of draws, a helmet for the long routes and good sense of adventure (little more adventurous than your average sport routes) and you will be awarded with a great experience. Thanks to the guys and gals for all the effort put into this place!

The approach is a wonderful (albeit uphill) hike first up through the trees from the Alpine Club of Canada's Clubhouse then up a scenic narrow canyon with a bit of scrambling. After about an hour the canyon opens up into the big ampitheatre where endless rock awaits you. The Hideaway is the first crag you come to on the left, then after another 10-15 minutes you will run into the 'Prospect' on your left as well. Finally after a little while longer you will end up at the 'Coliseum' and 'Tall Storey'. The Lookout is located on the other side of the canyon and offers steep jug hauls in a great setting. It takes a little to find the crags your first time, but don't worry, the hike is fun and an awesome atmosphere awaits you.

Over the past year or so it has started to become a favoured place to go for local Canmore sport climbers. Instant classics everywhere, steep, asthetic routes on great limestone in a beautiful place! Get out and enjoy these routes, I guarantee once you visit you will keep going back! The pictures your enjoying are from/of Derek Galloway and Gery Unterasinger, local hard climbers from Canmore.

Buy the BOW VALLEY ROCK guidebook by Derek Galloway, for the full info on this sick area!
Included here is a few topos of the great multi-pitch and some updates.

Tall Storey 11c - 185m - 8 Pitches - Topo
Prospect 10c - 100m - 4 Pitches- Topo
Hideaway Topo + Others In Canmore Area
SUNSET CRAG - New crag in Echo Canyon

PLaNeT X - Canmore, Alberta - Limestone Sport Climbing

It really doesnt get any better than the Canmore area's Planet X. Actually pronounced '10' like the roman numeral, this place hosts high quality featured blue/grey limestone of a overhanging nature. If long (almost 40m), steep, physical, asthetic sport climbing is for you then you cant miss this crag. Located high up the Cougar Canyon drainage behind Grotto Mountain, Planet X is in a beautiful, remote location that gives an awesome vibe while climbing there. The cliff gets almost no sun, so the warm summer months would be ideal. You need a 70m (atleast) for all the routes, lots of draws and some strong arms. The warm up's are 5.11's, similar to Acephale. Thanks to Derek Galloway for the topo and information.

Topo: Planet X - Rock Climbing Topo

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mt.Slesse - Cascade's Alpine Classic - NorthEast Buttress

Although the season has taken a turn for the cold here in B.C I was still keen to include a couple of sweet detailed maps of Slesse's Northeast Buttress. I personally love having folded up topos in my back pocket when climbing long routes, no bulky guidebook but just a little cheat sheet if you may. A well deserved classic, Slesse is a beautiful mountain in a beautiful place.

Included is a detailed route topo, the new Crossover pass descent, which has been really developed and is being used a lot now (and did I mention it brings you back to your car), a road map of the area/approach, and a photo of the route from the hiking trail, and then some photos to get you psyched! All easily printable.

Route Topo: Route Topo - Northeast Buttress
Crossover Pass Descent: Descent Topo

SULLY's HaNGOuT - North Shore, Vancouver Rock Climbing

Sully's Hangout is a super cool crag located just off the trans-canada highway in North Vanvouver on the lower slopes of Lynn Peak. The crag is nestled underneath a big canopy of fir trees that give a very pleasant atmosphere and is a great place to hang out. Expect well-bolted climbing with difficult technical cruxes mostly in the 5.11 range, but with lots of good lower end stuff as well. A really good place on a sunny summer day to escape the heat.

Access is a bit of an issue here so please read up carefully on the topo and try to do your best to keep the climbing alive here. Enjoy!

Sully's Hangout - Topo