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A summery September continues…and this Saturday brought the chance to do a route I’ve been eager to get on for the whole season. Mother’s Day Buttress on Cascade Mountain is a fun route that is close to the Town of Banff with easy access (but a more committed descent). It is by no means a classic rockclimb like some of the other routes I have been able to do this summer, such as Tower of Babel and Grassi Ridge on Wiwaxy, but it offers great practicing and views of the Bow Valley.
This route is 335 metres, approximately 8 pitches, the hardest pitch being a 5.7. For the most part, it is a sustained 5.5, ledgy climb, with a few short exposed sections. The 5.7 pitch is easily avoided if two lower class pitches are taken instead. Trees are located conveniently on a series of ledge systems, offering excellent belay stations should you not find the bolts that are already in place.
Today brought intense, gusty winds, making the sections involving friction climbing a bit more adventurous. If the wind gusted between moves it threatened to blow you off the wall…literally. Otherwise, I spent a few minutes at a time clinging for dear life to the rockface, back to the wind, waiting for it to subside. Radios were a great tool today as communication between leader and belayer was nearly impossible.
That may be the last multi-pitch before ice climbing season starts…and that mat not be a bad thing! I’m pretty excited to get the ice tools out again.
Forgot my camera today, so photo from Summit Post by Dow Williams.
© Meghan J. Ward, 2009.