Bankhead Buttress (Valley View, Dan's Delight and others)
This section of cliff is the most extensive of all the buttresses in the long line of cliffs that
runs along the base of Cascade Mountain. It stretches eastward (northward) from the deep gully that separates it from Mothers Day Buttress to
the long, southeast ridge of Cascade Mountain (Minnewanka Buttress) where the cliffs
curve around to the north and drop down into C-Level Cirque. Most of the climbs were
established during the 70’s by Chic Scott, Lloyd MacKay and Ken Baker, all of whom
were prominent Banff pioneers at that time. They generally follow the more obvious
corner systems but a more recent semi-sport route, Valley View, ventures out onto
sections of blanker rock and indicates an encouraging direction for future development.
The most recent addition, Lipburner, is a difficult, four pitch semi-sport route that climbs
through large roofs at the left end of the cliff.
Some of the early climbs are slowly being fixed up: Dan’s Delight in particular, and
Ken’s Cave to a lesser extent. Bolted belays now make these climbs much more
enjoyable. Farther right, where the cliff becomes more broken, some of the climbs are
scrappy and discontinuous and barely worth repeating. Hiker’s Delight and L’Dublie
(Forget It), for example, are included only for completeness, as their route names would
Overall, the quality of the rock on the buttress is not good. The rock tends to be shattered
and loose in places, and the cracks are often shallow, making good gear placement
difficult. Consequently, pitons are recommended for the less traveled routes and in
addition to being prudent on such a big face, two ropes are necessary for the descent.