OMG! In this day and age, you would have thought we were done with this sort of thing. Inflammatory comments made without a shred of proof. In this case, Banff guide Kris Kirwin strongly suspects that the editor of Gripped magazine Brandon Pullan took the top-rope anchors off of a crag that he occasionally uses and distributed that hardware on the new multi-pitch climb "Minihappi."
I don't know that Brandon didn't do this, but it seems highly unlikely. I received similar accusation from this same guide a couple of days earlier. While communicating with Mr. Pullan myself, I explained Mr. Kirwin was upset about the missing hardware. Mr. Pullan then offered up some bolts to help replace the lost equipment.
Mr. Kirwin made a strong suggestion that I had taken his hardware, which suggests to
me that he is angry and just lashing out at anybody that he can think of.
This area is greatly underutilized as a family-oriented climbing area. With a fresh set of Dad's eyes, I reexamined the crag from a "would I take my 9 yr kid there" perspective. My answer is a resounding yes. Had this area been tricked out with anchors I am sure that I would have been visiting with my kids years ago. The location and short approach make this an ideal family crag.
One of Mr. Kirwin's chief complaints is that multi-pitch climbers will climb through while there with his guests. I do not see a problem with climbers passing through while running a half-day top-roping program. It will not detract from the guest's experience. Especially the type of first time, never ever guest that you are going to have using a location like this. If anything it would most likely enhance the guest's experience as they get to see what slightly more experienced climbers are capable of. It is also an opportunity to upsell to a first time multi-pitch day.
If you were to believe Mr. Kirwin, you would get the impression that there is no room for both activities. The guide suggests an increased rockfall hazard by the addition of multi-pitch climbers. I can assure you that with my practiced eye, this is entirely unfounded. If there is a rockfall hazard, it comes from the dozens of tourists that wander up above the climbing area every single day.
Mr. Kirwin's statement is inflammatory, unfounded and uncalled for. Commercial interests do not take priority in the National Park or any other public park that I know of. I suspect that this area will be tricked out with a series of TR anchors. The first pitch of Minihappi is the perfect location to take your 4 year old child. 5.0 with no hazard and completely user friendly for children and parents.
I have been up to the Cascade Falls area almost every day for the last three weeks. I can tell you I have seen over thirty multi-pitch climbers in a number of parties. I haven't seen Mr. Kirwin guiding there once. I
have to assume that he was there the one day that I wasn't. The other thing that I noticed is that the people who are using the multi-pitch really need a place to learn. (I know sounds like something I would make up for my convenience, but for once its the truth) Most of us take the step into the multi-pitch for granted. As the years go by it is easy to forget just how complex this type of climbing can be. I challenge anybody to find a more user friendly multi-pitch route. I think the public needs more information on the area to make a informed decision before the route Minihappi is tampered with. To be fair, Minihappi makes the best of very little to start with.
So do we shut down this awesome user-friendly multi-pitch because one guide company might use this area half dozen times a year? I think there is plenty of room for both activities.
Statement by Guide Kris Kirwin on Bow Valley Climbers facebook page
The second pitch of Minihappa has been a crag since the mid eighties. I merely retro fitted the area. 5 years ago i placed 5 top- rope anchors and have used the second cliff quite a bit for beginner climbers. It’s the only intro spot that I can go to with people at 9am on a Saturday and not have to stress about crowds. The 15 min approach and 5 minute drive is also a bonus. I went there a few days ago with some folks. Had to wait initially because someone was on minihapa - ok - then had to worry about rockfall while at the base. I went up to set my ropes, only to discover that 4 of my anchors have been chopped or hangers removed. Hard to tell but it looked like some of my hardware ended up on Minihapa 🤔🤔
So now this crag is all of a sudden a multi pitch zone? I usually end up using it on weekends with beginners and half day rock, which is when most will be multi-pitching it. So, if I’m there with a group, do Multipitchers now have the right of way?? I don’t think that is fair.
There’s enough 5.2 slab around.
If there is something I’m missing please educate me.
If Pullan did remove that gear then I am guilty of poor judgement when evaluating a persons strength of character. I'll be the first to admit thapresumptionon of innocence is for the birds.