North American Classic Climbs

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Mt. Gimli

South Ridge

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100 km south of the much better-known Bugaboos lies the Valhalla Range. Sometimes described as "the Bugaboos without the glaciers," it does share a few characteristics. Granite spires and peaks draw the climber's eye with their obvious climbing lines. Mt. Gimli is one of the most dramatic and accessible peaks. From the easiest vantage point to the south, the sharp south ridge practically begs to be climbed. This route was a closely guarded secret among locals until it was featured as the "climb of the month" in the Canadian climbing magazine "Gripped." Similar in many ways to the NE Ridge of Bugaboo Spire, the route features a series of superb moderate pitches up cracks and dihedrals with two that get most climbers' attention: the first is steep continuous liebacks and jams at 5.8, and the ceiling pitch high on the route, a tricky and exciting obstacle that signals the end of the difficult climbing. Between these two are some of the finest moderate alpine rock pitches on the continent, including one 5.7 crack that is the best of its grade I've ever climbed.

There is good camping at the base, but please be sensitive to the inevitable deterioration of the delicate meadows area as popularity of this climb grows. It is already attracting several parties a day on a good weather day. It can also be climbed quite easily in a day from the parking lot if you'd like to avoid camping altogether.


Alpine Rock




Valhalla Prov. Park, British Columbia, Canada





IV, 5.8


Route Descriptions & Maps:

Click for text description

First Ascent:

J. Hamlin, P. Koedt, September 1973


Trip Reports:

Clark 8/01