As the spring of 2023 arrives, I can’t help but reminisce. Three years ago this spring, the world felt like a very different place. It was the beginning of ‘the pandemic’ and we were all unsure about…everything. After two weeks of lockdown, all the climbers in the world began to lose their sanity a bit. That is when Andrew Abel reached out to me and asked if I was interested in sneaking out to Nordegg for a bit of development and top rope ice and mixed climbing.
Tales of Vertical Trails
Life was stressful and there were no guarantees of anything at this time. We both knew one thing: We had no money for bolts, but we had lots of time, and needed an outlet. Andrew started a Go Fund Me on a whim…and it shot off like lightning. This was really the grass roots support which lit up development in the Nordegg area.
These were desperate times and all we had was time. We gathered together the cash from the new bolt fund and visited every outlet we could find to hunt down hardware. I even remember a day when we considered using low integrity chrome plated bolts to develop ‘Solar Panel’. Thank goodness sense won over.
With bolts in tow, Andrew and I headed back to the West Country with visions of a few (more moderate) lines. While climbing Batteries Not Included, we had eyed the clean slabs to the right of Liquid Corner and knew this would offer good, easier sport climbing.
We returned the next day with Nate Johnson, and began bolting an easier line up the prow. This was a memorable moment. I was adamant that we push through one pitch of poor rock to reach the higher quality rock above.
While helping Mike Adolph with his enormous project of building ‘From Nordegg With Love’ I had gotten a good look at the Massif adjacent to it. I was constantly drawn to this wall, and now conditions for an attempt were just right.
The next week, Andrew and I were guiding a trip up the Via Ferrata in the morning and we happened to finish up around 1pm. We looked at each other as our guests departed. No words were spoken, bolts were loaded, and we were off. An hour later we were at our high point on Starstruck and establishing the finish to pitch 6.
Starstruck was the last route I developed with Andrew in the spring of 2020. He continued to add ‘Wet Like Willy’ and ‘Dumbo’ later that season. During the winter of 2021 Andrew spent a lot of time developing Mythos Crag. As the Spring of 2021 arrived it had been a while since we had been bolting together. We had a vision to add a new route on Freyja Wall and timing finally lined up for us to get after it.
Interested in learning to climb, or go out with an ACMG climbing guide?
This amazing Via Ferrata climbing route gives intermediate hikers access to a rock climbing experience.
This amazing Via Ferrata climbing route gives intermediate hikers access to a rock climbing experience – scaling a 500 foot cliff with safety and enjoyment
No experience required
Cost: $149 per person
This amazing Via Ferrata climbing route gives you an opportunity to scale a huge mountain face.
You can expect to be challenged and feel some real exposure on this route. This Via Ferrata is extreme at times. Climb through exposed overhanging rock while scaling a 600 foot cliff.
Climbing ‘The Fox’ with comfort
COST: $198 PER PERSON
A via ferrata combo that is highly adventurous!
This amazing Via Ferrata double header allows you to climb two via ferrata routes in one day! These climbing routes give you an opportunity to scale two huge mountain faces. You can expect to be challenged and feel some real exposure.
Climbing 5.9 at the climbing gym
COST: $306 PER PERSON
Join us for an unforgettable experience of climbing a real rock cliff in the mountains.
The full day adventure allows you time to learn to climb with coaching in technical skills like footwork, balance, and fluid movement. You will also get a rare opportunity to take in views very few have experienced!
No Experience Required.
Cost: $149 per person
Helicopter access! All inclusive alpine climbing from high camp! These are some of the most amazing climbing adventures.
Immerse yourself in the experience of camping in high places and climbing routes that would be otherwise out of reach.
Basic alpine skills, comfort with backpacking and tent sleeping
Cost: $1799 Per Person
Launch your rock climbing season with this value packed three in one climbing course.
Set yourself up for success this spring. We will complete three courses in four days, along with getting in a ton of climbing experience. Check the boxes on Rock Safe, Lead Rock, and Trad Leader!
Rock Leader and 10+ days of outdoor lead climbing experience
COST: $863 PER PERSON