Sunday, June 1, 2014

Valleyview (5.9 Sport)

As part of the ACC Calgary Section annual rock review, I got a chance to get out climbing with Ken, Allen and Orvel for the first time! The original plan was to climb Dan's Delight on Bankhead Buttress of Cascade but after talking to others and checking the weather it sounded like a recipe for an epic so we settled on the much shorter Valleyview, a 6 or 7 pitch (depends on which topo you use) 5.9 sport route also on Cascade. We got off to a leisurely start of 10am and struggled up the steep scree approach. Once at the bottom of the climb, we were able to scramble up to an anchor station and Ken started us off by leading the first five pitches.
Ken leading us to victory
 This was my first time climbing in such a big group but it was nice and social and relaxed. The weather was great and we were able to take our time without getting too cold.
Looking down the climb at the remaining snow in the valley
 The climb itself was really fun, lots of solid rock and high friction moves. The cruxes were well protected so even though some of the moves had very little in the way of handholds, nothing got too scary. Ken and Orvel did a great job of leading all day, leaving Allen and I to follow which was good fun too. I also got a chance to try out simul-climbing which was a first.
It was a very social belay station day
Me working my way up behind Allen
Orvel getting his shot at leading
Even with the four of us, it only took about 6 hours to do the whole climb from the car and back down to the car. I feel like this would be a good route for someone looking to do a quick, non-committing route as there are rappel anchors at all the stations and pitches are very easy to link. 
Rapelling down

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