Steep Al­berta Crag and its New­est 5.14

Gripped - - NATIVE STONES - Story and pho­tos by Tim Ban­field

Planet X is a steep crag in Cougar Creek north of Can­more in the Bow Val­ley. The X is meant to be the ro­man nu­meral for ten, but the crag’s name is cer­tainly pro­nounced as “planet x” and is one of the Rock­ies more pop­u­lar hard route zones. Top climber Jon Siegrist once de­scribed the climb­ing as no-hold, com­pres­sion moves up a wall that looks like there are only bolts and no fea­tures. There are big moves be­tween small holds and side pulls through stepped roofs.

There are a num­ber of 5.12s, 5.13s and 5.14s, which re­serves the wall for more ex­pe­ri­enced sport climbers look­ing for projects, but there are over 100 routes be­tween 5.8 and 5.10 on the ap­proach up the canyon. Even on rainy days, you’ll find

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