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North America, Canada, Canadian Rockies, Gibraltar, North Face Sheep River District

Gibraltar, North Face Sheep River District. On Friday, June 25 Bill Davidson and I came up the Sheep River road to start out Saturday morning unroped up the first 300 feet to a ledge, back down and back up with hauling sacks. On Sunday we found the first two leads surprisingly difficult considering the angle of the slabs. Four or five leads brought us to a down-sloping ledge, where we decided to spend the night. Before dark, I led 60 feet to a crackless, rotten band of rock. (Most of the rock of the face is excellent.) On Monday morning Bill solved the problem of the crackless band with a couple of rivets. The next lead was beautiful free climbing with good protection except for a little vertical wall with an aid move. That night we slept directly under a yellow dihedral. On Tuesday morning Bill climbed to above a chockstone on the dihedral. I finished the crack in the dihedral and climbed a ramp of terribly loose blocks. On Wednesday I ascended a crack on bongs and then had some free climbing. Bill climbed a ramp free at first and ended with 50 feet of nailing. An easy lead brought us to an unexpected ledge. We set another pitch before descending to the ledge for a bivouac. On Thursday we climbed three or four leads with aid getting harder and free climbing taking almost as long. On Friday we both had the runs and got a late start. Bill nailed flakes in the falling snow. Then I went on sloppily, nailing loose blocks; a fall was held on an aluminum rivet! We bivouacked again. On Saturday Bill nailed an extremely tricky traverse and up a series of expanding flakes with stacked pitons. On Sunday Bill led the final roof on bolts and rivets. NCCS VI, F8, A4.

JAMES WHITE, Calgary Mountain Club