Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Castle Mtn - Superbrewers (III, 5.9) with Mark

In late August, Mark joined me for an awesome day of climbing up SuperBrewers on Castle Mountain.  Mark & I have done a number of climbs together now (including Mt. Louis, East Ridge of Edith Cavell, Yamnuska, and Coire Dubh) so we were looking for something with LOTS of rock climbing.  Since SuperBrewers combines Ultra Brewers & Brewers Buttress, it makes for about 16 pitches of great climbing and was a good choice for a big day out! 

After doing the approach hike and a bit of scrambling, we soon started up the first steep pitch.  I hadn't done the route in a few years and was quite surprised to find so many new bolts (mostly right beside excellent gear placements!).   I'm not a big fan of the recent trend to add bolts to old classic routes since it diminishes the adventure, and makes it harder for aspiring alpine climbers to find good quality climbs to learn important gear skills on.  In my opinion, the fact that it makes it easier for guiding is not even close to being an acceptable reason for adding bolts.  We did have a laugh though when I hollered down that I'd found a bomber gear placement and then looked up to see a bolt right at chest height!  Anyways, the climbing on the lower part of the route is fantastic and we really enjoyed pulling the steep moves on mostly good holds!  After a few pitches of 5.8 & 5.9, we reached Goat Plateau where we took off the rock shoes and walked up to Brewers Buttress (5.6).  A few hours and lots of fun pitches later we were on top enjoying the sunshine!  It was Mark's longest rock route yet, but he did awesome and was clearly inspired to do more big climbs in the future! 

 Mark looking up at the first pitch of SuperBrewers.

J. Mills

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