SUN Rock Banff’s Post-Work Crag
Sunshine Rock is Banff ’s answer to the Smoke Bluffs, with a fraction of the routes and no splitter cracks. But what it lacks for in cracks it makes up for in riverside wellbolted slab-to-steep-wall climbing. Only 10 minutes from downtown Banff and with near-bumper belaying, it’s not a surprise that the climbing is so popular. The only shocking thing is that it took decades of Rockies development before someone f inally established those roadside lines.
Sunshine Rock is about eight kilometres from the Sunshine Ski Resort and the routes were bolted within the past 10 years. They vary in length from 15 to 20 metres with longer multi-pitch options down the road at Mount Bourgeau. Sunshine Rock is ideal for quick-hit climbs, short days out and days out with the kids or teaching friends. But there are also routes up to 5.11+.
You park a few minutes after pulling off the Trans Canada Highway at the Brewster Creek/Healy Creek trailhead. There is a west-facing wall called Sunshine Slabs and a south-facing wall called Paccock Wall. The Paddock Wall is partially hidden behind trees but has longer routes, some up to nearly 30 metres. It can be divided into smaller walls, such as Roadside, The Ledge, Corral and Rathaus.
Local climber Murray Toft wrote a guidebook to Banff climbing decades ago and mentioned a few climbs on Sunshine Rock, but after the book went out of print, climbers stopped climbing the few toprope-only climbs. The recent development by Chris Perry, Chas Yonge, John Martin, James Blackhall, Cy Michaud and others have cleaned it up, opened over 50 routes