Mt. Helen Mostly trad climbing12 routes in cliff
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Mt. Helen is a 70m tall gneiss slab just off highway 11 about 2km north of where highway 11 and 17 split (the split is just east of Nipigon).
Mt Helen offers good beginner to intermediate multi-pitch climbing on generally solid rock, with a mix of trad and sport.
The cliff is generally fairly easy to spot from the highway -- the vertical white streaks of the cleaned upper routes are visible and characteristic.
Access issues inherited from Thunder Bay
Varies from crag to crag.
Park on the side of highway 11, pulling as far off as you can -- lots of trucks pass along this section, often travelling quite quickly.
Look for the fairly obvious, usually flagged, trail heading up. This climbs up a short (50m) way to the base of the cliff, arriving at the start of "Bowels in Transit".
Start at the lower left portion of the cliff, climb diagonally up and left along the obvious crack towards the start of the large dike running diagonally up and rightwards across the face. Do the rising traverse along the dike, until reaching the overhangs at the right end, then turn left again and climb to the trees. Belay on gear where convenient -- breaking into two or three pitches depending on rope drag.
On the left side of the wall, look for the left-most white streak and bolts on the slab above below this white streak. Climb directly up, supplementing bolts with gear. Has ring-bolted anchor for belay and top.
Pitch 1: (5.7, 29m). Climb up face past 2 bolts, over a depression, then past another bolt to the anchors. Pitch 2: (5.7, 22m). Continue up past the flake onto the face (bolts and gear) to the top anchors.
Start on the lower left, traverse the smooth face staying below the dike of "The Upper Dike". There are occasional bolts, but also long runouts.
This route goes up the once-cleaned, but now re-lichening face right of "Bowels in Transit". Starts up some initial steep terrain to the slabs above.
Starts below the overhang with a few steep moves on positive holds to a bolt, then through lichen to another bolt. Either lower-off at this point, or go up to the first anchors of "This is Indian Land".