We are pleased to announce that Bonar McCallum has completed his most recent multi-pitch project at Lookout Proper in Echo Canyon. The new three pitch route, aptly named Highway to the Danger Zone (5.12a, 5.12b, and 5.13c), takes the line to the right of Greg Tos’s Where the Wild Things Are.
Bonar was kind enough to fill us in on the details of the ascent.
Name of Route: Highway to the Danger Zone
Date of Ascent: September 11, 2015
First Ascent: Bonar McCallum (with wingman Kevin Wilson)
The route descriptions are as follows (I apologize in advance for the cheesy Top Gun references):
Pitch 1: 5.12a (40 m), 17 bolts. You will need to keep as cool as Iceman to navigate the tiny holds and imaginary feet on the crux of this slab. Start just uphill of Where the Wild Things Are, in an alcove behind a big spruce growing against the cliff face. Climb up and right to a stance below the clean slab. The first 3 bolts are thin technical climbing, after which the difficulty eases off with fun climbing on chert block features. Climb up onto a ledge, move right to a bolt, then up through a classic Rockies chossy band to the first anchors.
Pitch 2: 5.12b (38m), 17 bolts. Keep steady and true, just like Goose, multiple difficulties with easy sections in between. In the immortal words of Goose’s wife, “Put this pitch to bed or lose me forever!” Trend up and right through highly featured stipple rock until you reach the vertical shield. Continue climbing through the shield and past 2 overhangs to reach the anchors in an alcove.
Pitch 3: 5.13c (33m), 15 bolts. To be successful on this pitch you will have to channel your inner Maverick, put on your aviator glasses and climb the overhanging prow. Climb the jug rail up and right of pitch 2 anchors until you can pull onto the overhanging prow. Sustained climbing with multiple cruxes leads to the Danger Zone. “You don’t have time to think up there. If you think you’re dead.”
Continue up for a few meters before moving left onto the slab. Easy but fun climbing leads to the top anchors.
NOTE: Two options to for descent from the top pitch
Option 1: Bring your second (or Wingman) up to the top of pitch 3, with a second rope: Rap off trending left to a rap station about 10 meters below the top anchors. From here you can rap (approx 40 meters) directly to the first pitch anchors, and then to the ground.
Option 2: With a 70 m rope you can lower and clean the top pitch, tracking down to the second pitch anchors. From here 2 raps approx. 38 meters each will get you to the ground.
Be sure to check back later this week as we have a feature interview with Bonar discussing life on the road and sending your projects.
Bonar McCallum lives in the Bow Valley and climbs with a lot of heart!