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Banff Area Access
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TOPIC: Banff Area Access
#284
Banff Area Access 4 Years, 6 Months ago  
Climbed at Barrier, Coral Crags and Cougar Canyon the last week and just wanted to update access.

Barrier is basically the same. The creek bed is a bit more rubbely, but still easily passable. The access trail will reform in the places it was washed out.

Coral Crag access is basically the same if you don't mind getting wet because the bridge crossing the cascade river 5 km up the fire road has washed out. The river crossing is up to crotch deep, but was completed by 4 individuals including two in the 5'4"-6" range. Bring sandles, bikes and bear spray. The road is washed out 500 m before the river, so ditch your bike as soon as the going gets tough.

Another option is to follow the cascade river past Black Feather canyon and continue along the faint trail to coral crag. It takes about 15 minutes longer (if you are on foot), does not involve a river, but does involve scrambling and tree hopping. Black Feather Canyon looks very washed out, similar to Cougar Creek.

Cougar Creek access has improved significantly. There is a massive, flat and gentle gravel path all the way to the climbing. Parking is in the same place, but the outhouse is somewhere near Medicine Hat. You will have to jump the small stream multiple times, so sandals are useful or a pole to balance across strategically placed logs.

Some crags have changed in height. Crow Bar crag is now a full 1-2 m shorter. Some first bolts are now at chest height! This season is the time to do that project where the crux was getting past the first bolt!

Hope everyone is getting out.
Matthew Breakey
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