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Valley View on Bankhead Buttress (Cascade Mountain)
Timestamp Free: 2019.05.19 - 23:03:20
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges
  (1 days)
Participants: Florian Jungen, Mike Warren 5.8+, 6 pitches
A nice, quiet six-pitch route on Cascade looker's-right of Mother's Day Buttress.
"Bankhead" is a locality marked on the 1:50,000 maps and is a former coal-mining town which was subsequently moved. "Bankhead Buttress" is the next buttress north of "Urs Hole", the ice-climbing route. It appears as more of a long cliff rather than a distinct buttress.

After a leisurely start rounding up some beta in Banff, we started at noon.The parking-area is located at a drainage just over 1 km past the Trans-Canada up the road towards Lake Minnewanka.

On the north side of the parking area is a cairn marking the beginning of the trail to the base. This parallels the drainage to some meadows and then climbs up through the forest to the top of the scree-cone to the north of the meadows. The apex of this scree-cone marks the beginning of some scrambling (one can see a rap-anchor about 10m above). Follow the line of least resistance up and then left-ish to a dead tree stump before a gully, about 50m from where you start. On the other side of the gully begins a line of bolts and the start of the climb.

Although other topos claim the route is "mixed", we found it to be all fixed gear (new bolts?). It will be runout compared to sport-climbing standards, but nothing worse than Gray Waves on Kid Goat (for example). Ascend the route in six pitches and rappel in eight rappels, all off double Fixe rings.

Pitch 1: Start up past a few bolts, pass a rappel station and belay at a higher station (45m, 5.6) still on the left of the gully.

Pitch 2: Go up the gully a little and then move out right to the other side (bolt) and then continue straight up past 3 more bolts to an anchor above a small ledge (20m?, "5.8+"; no more than 5.9). The middle is a little run-out (but easy); the crux moves are well protected by the final bolt.

Pitch 3: go left around a bulge,...

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