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Big Corona (V, M7 W5+ A0, about 500m)

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  • Big Corona (V, M7 W5+ A0, about 500m)

    Big Corona (V, M7 W5+ A0, about 500m)

    J. Mills, Dave Edgar ? March 19 & 20, 2009

    The climb is on Triangle Peak along the David Thompson Highway about 10 minutes from the Crossing. The climb is visible from the road high on the cliffs across the river near Thompson Creek. It's named after what used to be the favourite beverage in the Nordegg bar and the fact that years ago I thought this peak was called Corona Ridge.

    After holding our breath and crossing an ice bridge over the river we had a lovely time bushwhacking uphill on our skis for 3.5 hours. Apparently Dave knows lots of naughty words. We bivied at the highest trees below the route.

    The next day we climbed and rappelled the route which proved to have fantastic climbing throughout on mostly good rock with adequate gear. After arriving back at the base just as it became dark, we carried our skis back down through the bush which was great fun, especially when it started raining. To top it off we arrived at the river to find it open and flowing rapidly. We randomly selected a direction and started skiing, eventually finding a scary ice bridge to cross on. At this point is was raining hard and we decided that instead of skiing the last 500m to the cars, the best way to end our outing would be to get lost and ski around in circles while bushwhacking through the darkness for another three hours. At 2:30am we finally found the highway and collapsed into our cars. Don?t let the approach deter you though, the climb is excellent and well worth the effort.

    Route Description: The climb starts well left of the ice above and follows the only major weaknesses (obvious chimney corner systems) up through the lower two cliff bands with 5 pitches of climbing up to 5.8. Traverse right along a big scree/snow ledge for 10 minutes until below the ice. To get onto the hanging dagger would involve overhanging blank rock with zero gear, so instead we aimed for a narrow ribbon of ice on the left. The pitches on the upper cliff band were as follows:

    P1: (50m, M7, W5) Start up a few ice mushrooms then climb up and left following weaknesses on the rock for 30m to reach the ice. The first 20m is a bit rotten but has decent gear and isn't too hard. Above this, the crux moves are not very well protected but the rock is good, the last gear is about 10 feet down behind a suspect flake, it may be possible to get a piton in higher. Above the crux, make a strenuous pull through a small roof onto the thin strip of ice and follow this to a rock belay under a roof.

    P2: (35m, M5, W5+) Pull back onto a very steep iced up ar?te (never seen anything quite like it before) and climb to the top of the ice. Continue up a steep and exciting chimney to a belay on a small perch.

    P3: (55m, A0, W4) Lower or downclimb to the right until you can pendulum across to the main ice flow. Climb nice grade 4 until out of rope.

    P4: (60m, W4) Follow the ice to the top.

    Gear: Cams to #4 camelot, nuts, 6 or 8 pitons including at least 3 KB?s, small Tricams and a large hex, 8 or more screws including stubbies. There are no bolts on the route.



    The Big Corona starts on the left then works it way up to the strip of ice high on the mountain. Picture taken from highway.



    Closer pic of the upper part of the route. The ribbon of ice on the crux pitch is visible to the left of the hanging dagger.



    Dave in one of the lower rock bands.



    Crux pitch. Start below the hanging dagger and work up and left to the left hand ribbon of ice.



    Dave starting the ice arete pitch.

  • #2
    Sounds really cool, good job guys. Maybe someday I can climb this hard Thanks for sharing.

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    • #3
      Sounds like fun, nice find!

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