Canmore Wall: "Kurihara" (5.10d, 430 m)

PDF icon Kurihara_Topo.pdf1.08 MB

"This route was put up in tribute to Jiro Kurihara who passed away in an avalanche in Alaska in May 2011.
Jiro was a passionate climber who lived in Canmore because he loved the Canadian Rockies.

The route was bolted ground up on four days in July 2011. Mike Shoemaker, Christoph Spiegel, Aki Tawara, and Patrick Lindsay were patient belay partners on the first four days. Thank you very much.

I climbed using little bolts on the way up and added more on the way down to make use of the battery power efficiently. The first two pitches were bolted rappelling on August 2nd, the day when the first free ascent was done by Michael Duerr, Hubi Zilbauer and me.

The original start was by scrambling in from the left but is not recommended due to poor rock.

Gear: 14 quickdraws (some long ones) and two 60 m half or twin ropes (essential for rappel!). No extra gear is required for protection. All anchors are equipped with two bolts and set up for rappelling.

Full details and topo can be downloaded below."


Christoph Hummel
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While equipped with bolts this is not a sport route. After climbing this route on August 26, 2012 I have the following concerns:

1. The stations are not safely equipped for rappelling: they consist of pairs of vertically offset bolts whose hangers have been tied together with nylon cord that has not be equalized, the mallions for feeding the rope are single quick-links fixed to the lower hangers, and laying flay against the rock. Furthermore the nylon cords take up a large amount of hanger real estate, leaving barely enough room to clip a single anchor carabiner.

2. The belays are situated directly in the path of rock fall, providing no shelter from any rock fall generated by the leader, or ropes being pulled on descent.

3. For the grade, the route has not received the judicious cleaning that is required to be able to trust the thin flakes that are required for the steep slab moves, particularly at the cruxes.

4. The bolts are erratically located, so that blowing a crux move, or a clip will result in a very serious ledge fall; and related to point 3, clipping many of the bolts requires trusting loose flakes for either hand holds or foot holds.

5. The first half of the route follows a crumbling spire, and the last half of the route follows a steep drainage; so loose rock will always be a concern.