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Grade Route
1 5.3
2 5.5
3 5.6
4 5.2

Photo Topo

FA: Alyssa Acchione, B. Pullan & Brandon Pullan, 2019

Take the drainage to the left of Cascade Falls. Climb up ice steps to the top, where you may go either left or right.

Follow the climbers trail on the right of the gully to descend, one short rap is needed.

Wheat Kings is a 7 pitch bolted 5.7 that climbs to the top of Buffalo Crag in just over 200 metres. Buffalo Crag is a south-facing wall on Cascade Mountain north of Banff to climber's left of Rogan's Gully.

The route follows low-angled rock up a buttress for seven pitches. The third pitch is the crux with interesting fins and underclings. The stippled stone offers great friction. Overall, the climbing is mostly 5.5 and 5.6 and while the route is bolted, it is not a sport route. Wheat Kings is named after the hit song by the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip.

Approach: Park at Cascade Falls parking area on the Lake Minnewanka Road. Take trail south past air strip into a forest heading west past one path up a slope. After 15-20 minutes take a trail right past a rock with a cairn that is flagged with orange tape. Follow the trail up a slope rising left past two sets of boulders to a big boulder on the left of the trail after about five minutes.

Follow the flagged path up to the base of the wall. . About 45 minutes from the car.

Some pitches are between 30 and 35 metres, but they are rounded up to 35. The route is new for July 2016 and has dirty sections. Beware of loose rock.

Gear: Eight quickdraws, two extendable draws and 70-metre rope.

Pitch One: Climb up and left past two bolts and follow a foot rail up and right past a third bolt. Climb the corner to a bolted belay at a tree. (5.5 30 metres, four bolts)

Pitch Two: Climb good rock left of the corner past two bolts and up and left avoiding dirty rock on the right. Angle up and right to a fourth bolt. Follow a crack up and right to a break in the rock and left to a ledge with a tree and belay. (5.6 35 metres, seven bolts)

Pitch Three: Step up and left and then follow fun features to a ledge. Take a faint crack right up to a belay. (5.7 35 metres, eight bolts) Note: There is an endangered whitebark pine far left of the second bolt, don’t damage or remove.

Pitch Four: Step up and left to a bolt. Continue up to a ledge and head left to a belay. (5.4 20 metres, two bolts)

Pitch Five: Up two short walls past two bolts to a ledge. Up and right to a corner that you climb for a few moves and then step left onto pillar. Up pillar to a bolt and then right on low-angle rib to belay. This is the Pretty Things belay ledge where you can see Mount Louis and most of the Bow Valley. (5.6 40 metres, five bolts)

Pitch Six: Up a steep move to a ledge and up the corner above past a hard-to-see bolt. Continue up easy ground to a belay near a tree. (5.6 30 metres, four bolts)

Pitch Seven: Up the rib past bolts to a break in the rock on the left. Up easy climbing to the final anchor. (5.5 35 metres, five bolts)

Descent: Walk off a flagged trail by heading up about 100 metres after the route and then left over small rock steps until you take a flagged trail through the forest down and back to main trail.

The route can be rappeled with 70-metre rope using a rappel-only anchor between the top of pitch five and three. However, due to loose rocks and some rope eating features the walk-off is recommended.

FA: Brandon Pullan & Gaby James, 1 Jul 2016

Great afternoon out. 6 fun pitches.

Pitch1 40m 5.6

Pitch2 25m 5.9

Pitch3 25m 5.8

Pitch4 25m 5.9

Pitch5 25m 5.8

Pitch6 50m 5.7

200m right of Mother's Day. Some pitches protected by bolts

Take the drainage two to the right of Cascade Falls. A ramble up multiple steps varying from WI2 to WI3. Near the top branch left for the WI3/3+ finish or keep going straight for the WI5

Gear: 6 quickdraws, 4 extendable runners, 60-meter rope

Pitch 1: 5.6 - 48-meters - Head up steep wall past two bolts. Make a 5.6 move onto the upper face of the rock. Clip 4 pitons with bolt-on top of the cliff then step across a small stream (dries up mid-summer most years). Follow compact rock protected with a bolt and a couple of pitons.

Pitch 2: 5.5 - 30-meters - Step out right on the compact rock. Friction your way up past three bolts and a piton.

Pitch 3: 5.5 - 30-meters - Step right into a steep corner. Clip 5 pitons to a protection bolt at the 20-meter mark. From the bolt angle up and right.

Pitch 4: 5.6 - 30-meters - Climb up past three bolts and a piton. You will reach the final station up on the wall. This is the ice climbers standard first pitch

Descent: Rappel or walk off climbers left with careful routefinding to the trees

(via Tom Gnyra)

FA: Mike Barter

FA: Mike Barter

Approach: Park at the airport parking lot base of Cascade Falls. Climb Minihapa or work the lower benches crossing the waterfall on the second bench. Once on top stay on the (right) North side of the waterfall. Follow any one of the braided trails till the rock gets steep.

Pitch 1: 50 meters - 5.3 - 4 bolts Start just left of the Buffalo Hump right of the running water. Follow the comfortable scramble style rock bench to bench. You will find two bolt hangers on the left (waterfall side).

Pitch 2: 30 meters - 5.4 - 5 bolts Continue up and slightly right to the base of that big orange block.

Pitch 3: 30 meters - 5.5 - 5 bolts Move left to the bolt you see 10 meters away. From there continue straight up trending a slight right.

Pitch 4: 26 meters - 5.6 Climb over some exciting rock left of the corner. 2/3rd the way up step right onto the rib. Make the final move or two on steep rock to the anchor.

Descent: Rap off ring bolts to the last anchor. You can go 3 meters lower from last anchor (ring bolts) and walk off lookers right (north). It is also possible to rap two more pitches.

(via Tom Gnyra)

FA: Mike Barter

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