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The Doors of Perception 620m

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  • The Doors of Perception 620m

    The Doors of Perception 620m

    Patrick Delaney, Mathieu Audibert (2009-01-14)

    Gear: small nuts, single set of C3?s, double Camalots: 0.5 to 3.0 with the addition #4.

    We used 50m twins but one could get off if needed using a single rope. The route is easy an one should expect nothing harder than M5+....


    The route climbs the main corner system directly below the summit of Lodder peak.

    Twelve pitches separate the ice of Coire Dubh and the summit. The route has mixed fixed gear and natural protection with fixed anchors at all belays but two (2) and (8).

    Bolts were pre placed by me in the fall using bottom up techniques and top down for pitches 5 and 6. At pitches 5 and 6 I fixed a line and jugged up placing bolts ware needed. Pitches 7,8 and 9 I simply rapped over and placed a few bolts in obvious places. The top pitches I was able to access via a ledge that runs across from the top of Coire Dubh.

    I had not worked any of the moves; because of this I could of screwed up the bolt placements. However, it worked out really well.

    The rock is super dense in places with pockets like grassy lakes. Ware bolts are placed no other form of pro is currently possible.

    I think the style used makes sense for the area, given its proximity to summer mixed protected routes. Since I was fixing I made the anchors bomber!

    It is important to note that no significant cleaning was done, I did kick off the obvious but kept the route as is, much like Coire Dubh Integral, the rock is quite good overall.

    Three pitons were found on the line, one to the right of the last pitch, one to the left of the belay for pitch 7 and one 20 feet above the third pitch.

    We freed the route on our first go using a combination of dry tooling and hand climbing.

    We started the ice at 08:00 and top out on the summit at 17:00.

    In the picture (taken in the fall), the red line represents the line of the Doors of Perception. The green line depicts the typical Coire Dubh integral options.

    Here is a pitch by pitch description a topo will be available at Valhala tomorrow.

    1. From the top of the ice, move up snow passing a large boulder. Left of twin dark corners, sometimes thin ice, move up a steep snowy groove on the left. Belay at a single bolt below a roof (bolt often under snow) protection bolt to right. Continue up a good positive groove on gear exiting a short deep groove on the left. Belay on bolts

    2. From the anchor, move across the ledge, snow and or scree, to the second of two grooves. The second has snow leading to a small roof, two bolts protect up to and over the stepped section. Either move up and right to a Two bolt anchor on large grey bolder or go left around a block and up to the same belay.

    3. Continue up a large snow slope to an obvious steep dark groove on the left. Climb up the groove past 4 bolts and not much other gear to an anchor on the right. Depending on the amount of snow that fills the groove.

    4. Traverse a ledge 20m to the right to a single bolt belay. Continue up and over a small M5- step to a single bolt. Pass the bolt and continue up on snow and rock trending towards the left side of a steep overhanging wall. Single bolt belay down and right from obvious protection bolts.

    5. Climb over the steep bulge following 6 bolts into a right facing corner. A few more bolts protect and easier section before continuing through another crux and easier climbing to the belay M5+.

    6. From the belay move left on the ledge 8m to a second belay. From this belay, climb up two bolts on the right to a hard move getting onto a skinny ledge. Traverse over the belay and into a steep corner. Continue up the corner passing a loose section before traversing right on thin gear. Climbing over right until you reach a large roof. From the left side of the roof a large flake and thin crack leads up an over. Once above the roof, an exposed traverse (bolt) leads out right to a semi-hanging belay with two bolts.

    7. A thought provoking start leads over a large block to a bolt. From the bolt, fire up the steep corner, mossy and a bit loose, to a frozen moss top out. From here, either continue to the next station or belay here on gear.

    8. Continue up a good corner to a steep physical crux, after passing the bulge an easier yet sustained sections leads to a large loose groove an a two bolt belay on the right of this groove.

    9. Climb a short slabby section right of the belay to a stance (bolt). A short steep mantel M5 ish gets you onto a good ledge and a second bolt. Traverse right along the ledge to a second bolt and eventually a two bolt belay.

    10. A super fun roof on the right (bolt) leads to a good crack system. When the crack fades, move left and up passing a large hueco and a bolt. Climb up and right from the bolt following an easy right facing corner system. Exit the pitch via an easy short large crack on the left.

    11. From another two bolt belay, move up and right up thin corners, a bolt that protects a long section of technical slabby rock. Just when you have had enough a second bolt come into view. From the bolt move passed a bulge and into a cool wide crack with turf and ice in the back. From the crack a steep section of 5.10- climbing gets you into a short awkward chimney. Pass a bolt and exit the chimney to a nice belay stance and the last pitch.

    12. The last pitch is very original, sandstone and limestone combine to make this one a classic top out pitch. At first, increasingly thin climbing passes three bolts. Then, incredible sticks, torques and gear lead?s you under a large loose roof system. Just as the climbing runs out, a series of jugs head?s out right to a bolt and a beautiful hanging corner system. Move up the corner to its near end and traverse left to a last bolt that protects a boulder problem type top out into the snow and the final anchor.




  • #2
    Are you comfortable claiming this as a new route after finding gear already placed?

    I would suggest that you may want to do some research just in case someone pops up to say they did the first ascent. Saves possible disappointment later.

    It might have been some time ago but some of the old guys around here did pretty amazing things back in the day, with gear that would frighten most climbers today.



    • #3
      As is, as a total line, i am quite certain no one has climbed every pitch and not in winter.

      While a few of the pitches i would be surprised if they had not been climbed this is why i stated the facts. In no way am i attempting to piss on a piece of stone an call it mine.

      However, at least one pitch would be 5.12x in summer conditions, without our passage. While many pitches in summer could very well be done at a grade mast Rockies climbers would find quite fine.

      No one has done this line as is in winter before us period.

      I feel that some lines could be accessed via right (as i stated) and left via contrived upper variations to routes like Chocolate Frog etc.

      This route in summer would be a piece of S....T, pardon me saying.

      Now its a large winter route with easy access and low avi hazard. If i am not the first to climb it than let someone come up with a name...i don't mind, that is not why i climbed it.

      Honestly this is a nice line that may allow others to follow and enjoy. It may allow climbers an option for winter climbing that may allow more of the "sans" bolts routes to be repeated.

      I think every inch of that wall is climbable...i found no text on it i asked around and if other lines do exist...what are you suggesting? Should i claim only some pitches? Maybe i leave it open...My route name is only a suggestion for a direct is that?


      • #4
        No no, no reason for getting nervous or over-reacting Patrick, your route's a new one in my book, your approach being in line with was is done today and pitons found on certain pitches do not always mean claim(s) to name the route, i.e. bolted routes on Yam versus a couple random pieces of pro found on them.

        If somebody stands up and tell us about yet another Kananaskis Obscure from 1964 - well allright, I'll be first to listent. But in the meantime let's add this new piece of work to our agendas and spread the word !

        - My opinion only, of course -



        • #5
          First off I am not about to make judgement on this route.

          It is hard to tell where your route starts because it was shot in summer and I can't tell where the beginning is in relation where the main Coire Dubh ice kinda ends.

          Since you never gave a pitch-by-pitch rundown I will tell you the only thing I do know is that that if(??) your first pitch is that shallow, right-facing corner which is on the same band of rock as the 1st rock pitch of Coir D.Integral then that has been climbed.

          If you are at that belay for the first 5.6 left-facing corner (after completing the majority of the ice) and look about 50-60m climber's left you will see a obvious corner. Sometimes it has a thin line of ice in it.

          Anyway, we tried it in 1996 and left a piton part way up. However in 1997 I was at the 5.6 Integral pitch and watched 2 dudes get up the main ice, saw us clogging the 5.6 pitch, so they just took on the corner in some pre-M Grade style with no thinking, stopping, hangdogging and placed maybe one piece of gear. There was virtually no ice, they just mix-climbed it with very little thought. It was very impressive to see.

          I have a photo of them on it if you want to see it.

          That's all.


          • #6
            I think I may know who those two were, Greg.

            I'll get back as soon as I can but it might take a while.



            • #7
              no, thats not it

              the first pitch has no bolts on it anyways. but has a bolted anchor. from what i saw. the first pitch and second likely aren't new. the rest likely is.


              • #8
                I think it will help everyone when i get a topo in. My problem is its kinda long and what format to use to get it on here. I'm not too good with my cpu. Sounds about correct, however. Bassically the first pitches, are one of many possibilities i only made suggestions bassed on the one i find to be quick and kinda good climbing. The route uses neither of the twin grooves. Without ice they are desperate at best. The anchor i put in a top the suggested first pitch after i found my self along Barry Blanchard who was him self guiding. The snow was bad and the belays both marginal stances. In good snow, a rare case, the belay would not be needed, but the current belay could be used for the left hand groove also.

                In all cases, even a winter picture would not help anyone much.

                I will realy try to get a topo out tonight. I will also drop one off at Valhala in Canmore.

                Once in the upper corner its har to go off route, but a topo would help to get started.

                This might not be a classic, but its a long fun piece of winter adventure, nothing more.


                Off to work


                • #9
                  ' the first pitch and second likely aren't new. the rest likely is.'

                  Not saying the rest isn't new, but if you find 3 pins on 3 upper pitches within eyesight how is that it hasn't been climbed on - pins are pretty hard to see from a distance. Doesn't it say in JoJo's book that many options have been done?

                  Once again, I an not saying it isn't new, just sections of it I am sure have been climbed in the past.


                  • #10
                    I have added a description into my original post.

                    Have you even been there???

                    Who knows who climbed the first two of my suggested pitches....i my self have guided them several times without bolts or anchors. God only knows how many times they were climbed before i first did(three years ago).

                    When the info goes to a guide book i will be certain to include that the first pitch, along with all the other options i did not climb first and that the second pitch, might of also been climbed.

                    Oh and just incase you might go there, i also did not FA the ice....but maybe a variation on the approach....

                    Don't forget you are talking about some 20m of climbing and some 20m of scrambling on how many hundreds of meters of climbing?...We don't even know who made it up the dam ice climb first Greg...its a complex wall.

                    The variations Joe Josephson suggests all top out on the Col or to the right of it.....quite a ways from the line we suggested. But like i said one could try and traverse the wall, just need to make it accross steep wind slab ledges, loose scree, a few bed sized blocks in places.

                    So why are you taking the time...? i am not sure...Ah mountain police....

                    Don't worry, just go climbing!

                    Over and out!


                    • #11
                      Hello Patrick,

                      Referencing your picture, it looks as though my father and I likely climbed your main corner system in the mid to late 90's. When we were up there we saw no sign of travel and left a couple of pins for others. I went back to climb the route again in Oct?/Nov? 04. I don't know exactly were your route goes so I'll have a look at it in the next couple of weeks.



                      • #12
                        Sounds good.

                        Looking FW to your info. It would be cool to shine light on this.

                        I don't think it will change much of what i have already said.

                        Several pitches had not been led ever before unless who ever passed by had not disturbed anything or made any sign of passage at all.

                        We had to garden on lead to find gear in the main mossy corner.

                        It is possible to wind arround alot in summer conditions and climb the main features. We simply linked the features with as straight a line as possible. Looking for climable terrain and natural gear options.

                        I knew this route would bring up much discution since so much of it is rather easy to climb in shoes, after you get up to anyways.

                        This was certainly not a route that i climbed simply for my self, otherwise i would of kept money and time in my pocket.

                        A pin near the second to last belay, is of the 1970's vintage and leads me to beleive that even you and your father might not of been the first....

                        If you and your father climbed the line, leading all the pitches even with aid, in winter conditions It truely was a proud climb.

                        I am certain this was not the case for at least a few of the pitches, unless you two were capable of M7+ X climbing.

                        The facts are still on the wall.

                        I find it cool that people are driven to climb similar things.

                        I am sure if you climbed the line in 04 and climb the line we did that you will find it nice and straight and something worth keeping. If you climbed it in winter conditions in 04 and you followed the exact line we did, you must be a very strong and bold climber.

                        Feel free to contact me directly if you would also like more pictures of independent pitches to help with your investigation.





                        • #13
                          This route sounds fun, thanks to PD for adding another, "What to do today?" option around here. I don't think he was claiming it as an absolute FA or something super-rad, just sharing the information. I certainly hadn't heard of or even thought of climbing that thing, so the idea is new to me and sounds like something cool to do.

                          I'm sure parts of it and maybe all of it has been climbed before, but now that information has been put together in the form of a "route," which makes it so. Hope somebody goes and does it again soon!



                          • #14
                            Was just informed hat Welsted and Jen Olsen climbed the route yesterday in 6hours! Awesome! They suggest to knock off two grades to the overal grade.

                            This is good. Expect something no harder than Red Man soars.

                            Good on them for going, i hope more people do it!




                            • #15
                              Just to add a little info:

                              Good route with quite a lot of terrain covered in a safe day. There are a couple of short 3 or 4 move sections that are indeed athletically harder than M5 but the two I recall are both off large belay ledges and bolt protected. Overall I agree with Jen's comment that it seemd like a lot of M4 ground with a few short cruxes. If you can get up M6 or similar at Haffner the cruxes should be no problem and are over quickly. Nice combination of types of climbing: pockets, edges, corner cracks etc. I would say it is a very good introduction to Rockies mixed climbing in a safe style without any commitment as all of the belays are honking two bolt and chain anchors. A travese off following large ledge systems which cross the face is possible from almost every anchor so no reason not to head up the route.

                              I'm simply going to bypass the ethical bolt debate here as not too many people seem to side with me in my somewhat British view of their appropriateness in the alpine, suffice it to say that the route probably goes without them but I did clip them (although skipping some of the less necessary ones).

                              A recommendation for future parties would be to trim down the rack to a full set to camalot #2 and including C3 sizes and a standard set of nuts. We linked a few pitches quite easily with 12 draws.

                              The stated vertical (620 meters) must be from the very valley bottom or similar. The actual rock climbing (after the Coire Dubh ice) can only be around 300 meters at most, a fact which might encourage more people to go and repeat the route.

                              Finally, we climbed almost the entire thing without tools so it would seem that climbingit in the summer with rock shoes is also a very viable alternative casting doubt on the claim of first ascent status, although I think Pat has already made that fairly clear.

                              I'd encourage more people to go do it.