SUN Rock Banff’s Post-Work Crag

Gripped - - NATIVE STONES -

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

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