The First As­cent of a Huge Mod­er­ate Rock­ies Sport Route

Gripped - - FEATURE - Tyler Kirk­land Pho­tos by Dan Kim

is a mighty spire. To me, this has al­ways been the sin­gle most im­pres­sive fea­ture of the Bow Val­ley. It’s this kind of fea­ture that in­spired me to tie into a rope in the first place. To put my­self in that place and to ex­pe­ri­ence it would be no sim­ple task. As I re­searched the var­i­ous routes on the wall, I found no good route for me. The most re­peated line was Goat But­tress, first climbed by Chris Perry and Trevor Jones in 1977, but it’s a se­ri­ous un­der­tak­ing. At 5.10d with big run-outs, tricky gear and bad rock, I couldn’t risk it. There was the col­lec­tion of Peter Gatzsch’s routes, most rated 5.9 or 5.9+, but upon fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion I dis­cov­ered that most of th­ese routes still await a re­peat He has a bit of a rep­u­ta­tion for not “wast­ing” bolts on easy climb­ing and also de­nies any route is harder than 5.9. He once sug­gested to me that a good in­tro­duc­tion to the wall would be the eas­i­est route, with the most pro­tec­tion, Wild Colo­nial

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