• Activities:

    Camping, Rock Climbing

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Summer

Forest
Scenic
Waterfall

A 13-pitch, 5.8 bolted route in the Bow Valley proves to be a Rockies classic.

Established in 2012 by Eric Dumerac, Sid Cupido and Chad Casey. 

This 13-pitch, 300m route of relatively easy climbing provides some decent exposure on a dolomite tower attached to Mount Andromache, Banff National Park. 2 hr approach, expect 8-10 hour day. 

Approach

- Park in the pull out on the west side of Highway 93 North in front of Hector Creek. There is no sign for Hector Creek so if you are coming in from Lake Louise/Banff direction then look for a large drainage on your right approximately 25 minutes north of Lake Louise. 

- You will need to cross the road once you've parked at the pull out and once in the drainage, on the climbers right, there is a small rock cairn. This is the trail for Mount Hector. 

- Follow the easy trail through the forest, crossing over the creek and keeping the waterfall on your right when it is safe to cross for about an hour. 

- At the top of the waterfall you can follow the rock cairns to a small hanging valley between Mt. Andromache and Little Hector (Mt. Hector seen behind LH). Towards the North (climbers left) you can spot the dolomite towers. 

- Follow rock cairns towards a two tiered tree island and several smaller trails will lead you up a series of ledges towards an easy scramble up a gully that opens up to the larger upper ledges. 

- Head left from the top of the upper ledges across a bowl (spot a large boulder) and follow the steps of a dry watercourse to gain access to the base of the towers. Follow the base of the towers until the farthest left bowl. Here you will see your target. 

Achilles Spire is the one with a very prominent, pointy tower to its right and a small crumbly tower to its left. 

The Climb

Start Below and left of the big black roof with white rock below are smaller overlapping overhangs and a one bolt station at a small scruffed out ledge, two hours from the road.

Pitch one, five bolts, 20 m 5.5: From the station trend up and left to the first bolt, seven metres. Follow bolts to a left facing corner and up over a groove/roof/ to a station on the left under a small dirt ledge.

Pitch two, five bolts, 45 m 5.4: Climb straight up, past a left facing feature to the big ledge above.  Continue past the ring-bolt rap station trending up and right to the next ledge and station.

Pitch three, seven bolts, 40 m 5.6: Climb the steep wall up and right gaining an arete. continuing up a groove. Again, pass a rappel station and up to another big ledge with a 2 bolt anchor.

Pitch four, four bolts, 20 m 5.6: Locate the first hard to see bolt up and right of the station in a black band of rock. Overcome the steep bit and keep trending up and right to a large ledge. Station is under the roof.

Pitch five, four bolts, 20 m A0 or 5.6 or 5.8: Climb up and left of the station past two bolts. At the third bolt traverse horizontally left past another bolt and climb up to a ledge and small overhang. Climb straight up for one 5.8 move, pull on the draw at A0 or risk the pendulum easily climbing off to the right of the bolt at 5.6 (recommended).  Climb up to the next ledge and continue to a station.

Pitch six, two bolts, 15 m 5.4: Climb the little rib just left of  bolt and up to a ridge and station found on the right hand side just below the ridge top.

Pitch seven, third class, 70 m: Walk the ridge to the left until the main buttress, go around it on the left to the base of a beautiful wall and bolt station facing the highway.

Pitch eight, six bolts, 28 m 5.7: Climb up and left, then straight up to an alcove atop this perfect vertical rock wall.

Pitch nine, four bolts, 20 m 5.6: Climb up the short chimney gaining a ledge and station on the right.

Pitch 10, eight bolts, 26 m 5.7/5.8: The crux of the route and one of the best pitches. Follow the groove, climbing the central wall with cracks on either side. Side step a roof by traversing left and come back right of the crack to a semi-hanging belay on the right.

Pitch 11, six bolts, 28 m 5.6: Angle up the left groove following bolts to a ledge and station.

Pitch 12, four bolts, 20 m 5.5: Leave the station and easily scramble up for 10 metres or so to another ledge at the base of the wall. Climb up great rock on the arete to a ledge and station.

Pitch 13, five bolts, 45 m  5.5: Move up and left around the arete climbing up a small slab and past ledges and a rappel station to another station on the summit. Descent: Rappel the route.

Pack List

  • 60 meter rope (30m rappels/abseils) 
  • 12 quick draws 
  • Climbing shoes
  • Approach shoes 
  • Helmet
  • Headlamp 
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Reviews

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This was one of the best climbs Iv done in Canada. I loved the views all the way up and the climbing was enjoyable for a long route.

4 months ago
4 months ago

Tiffany Fernyhough

Outdoor Educator from Hong Kong + New Zealand | Currently in Alberta, Canada

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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