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Just a Nibble - Mount Niblock

First ascent: Dylan Cunningham, Brette Harrington 17/04/2021
By: Dylan Cunningham
Area: Canada, Group: Lake Luise, Bow Valley, Peak: Mount Niblock, Height: 2976m, Country: Canada, Region: Alberta

A great adventure and some fabulous climbing but not without its serious moments. The route is somewhat sheltered from overhead hazard from pitch 10 onwards as it climbs under or on a rib. Expect a long day from a bivy in the basin below (FA took 15hrs to climb the face, 2hrs to return to camp).


Pitch 1: WI3 55m, Traverse left from the big snow fan on a small snow ledge along the base of a few ice flows. Climb the leftmost one to the snow ledge and belay under the prow above. Could potentially walk around this pitch by walking higher on the fan.
Pitch 2: 25m, Traverse left on snow and build a belay just short of an ice goulotte.
Pitch 3: 40m M5 WI5 R, Climb the ice goulotte and pillar above then thin ice to a ledge and belay.
Pitch 5: 55m, pull a final thin bulge of ice and tromp up the snow slope.
Pitch 6: WI4 55m, climb generally easy but sometimes thin and fun ice through the gully and up slabs to belay at the base of the next ice flow.
Pitch 7: WI3 60m, climb the fat ice flow and continue up snow to a belay on rock.
Pitch 8: 200m, simul climb up snow to a belay under a white overhang
Pitch 9: 50m 5.9 R, traverse left on a ledge until the ground above eases in angle. Continue with a rising traverse to belay at the base of a small ‘gully system’.
Pitch 10: 35m 5.9, Climb the gully system to a semi-hanging belay on the prow below the snow slope. Best done in rock shoes after leaving the snow.
Pitch 11: 50m, climb up the snow rib and belay on the left side of the rock prow.
Pitch 12: 35m 5.10-/M6 R, traverse left and start up a defined corner. A good stance exists midway up to switch into rock shoes :) Save the #4 for the belay.
Pitch 13: 35m 5.8, Head up from the belay for a few meters then set a rising leftward traverse to belay on a rib. Slabby to start so rock shoes were best...try not to knock snow on the footholds.
Pitch 14: 45m M5, head up a groove just right of the belay to a short black algae covered wall. Make some bouldery moves to the snow ledge and then carry on to belay at the next wall. Walk easily left to the ridgeline from here.


60m ropes, cams from micro to 4”, nuts, hexes proved vital, tricams were useful, pins (peckers, angle, blades, spectre)

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5.10- M6 R WI5






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