Sunday, June 24, 2012


I was out at Calabogie yesterday with Matt, Andrew, Iris and Pete. Nothing epic was climbed but it was nice to get outside. For the most part I lead some easy routes like the retro bolted First Flight and the unnamed line left of it. I also did Phasers on Kill with the traverse variation at the end to the anchors of Phasers on stun. Phaser on Kill, although straight forward, does involve a certain amount of risk. If you are thinking of leading Phasers on Kill and you are new to placing gear here is my 2 cents.
  • Be wary of the ground fall potential at the start. After the placing a 0.3 C4 you must commit to making the moves over the small bulge to gain the vertical crack. A fall from above the bulge would almost surely be a grounder.
  • Take the time to ensure a bomber second piece in the vertical crack above the bulge. There are plenty of good cam placements here and also plenty of bad ones given the nature of the crack. I usually place a #.75 waist level and then high clip, at an arms length above my head, a #1 C4.
  • Like any climb don't trust the rusty pin.     
  • The rock quality shifts toward poor after you pass the old rusted pin above the vertical crack. Find the good placements among the various horizontal cracks.
  • At this point in the climb there is way too much protruding rock, don't fall.     
We did give Tipytoe 5.11d a shot on TR. The start is the crux and I'm not sure if it is just hard for short people or if we did an incorrect start. Once you get the large jug 2 feet or so left of the first bolt it can't be more than 10d or 5.11a. Then after the second bolt (note a small cam is needed between the first and second bolt) it is trivial climbing. Note that the hardest moves are before the first bolt and the uneven rocky landing would not be good.  I'm sure I could lead this route but I don't feel motivated to do so.

On a side note watch out for the poison ivy. It is extra thick this year in the ice climbing areas so stay low on the approach trail to avoid the worst of it. Leaves of three, let them be.



  1. Hi, I've noticed you seem to know the Calabogie area quite well. I was wondering if you could pass on an indication of how many pure spot routes are available at Calabogie these days and if you had any to suggest in the 5.9 range?


  2. There are might be 9 or 10 pure sport routes with 5 of those being 5.9 or less. You will find them to be rather spread out. The retro bolted first flight (5.8ish?)and the unnamed route to the right come to mind. Note that getting to and past the first bolt is the crux. Also, first flight is fairly runout on 5.4 ish climbing between the last bolt and the anchors. For more info see .

    There is also another area past the main summer cliff with some 5.10s. They may or may not require a cam or two; I have not had a chance to climb them. Starting at Calabogie Sunset walk along the cliff, pasting #57 in the online guide, for about 15 to 20 mins. Note that the trail narrows just before getting there and fall would be not good.

    So yeah, Calabogie is not the greatest place for moderate sport climbing. Depending on where you live Montagne d'Agrent could be a better option.