Star Struck

Jul 25, 2020 | Freyja | 1 comment

5.9 330m, Sport
Gear: 10 quickdraws, 4 alpine draws, 70 m rope

First Ascent and Ground Up Bolting:
Tim Taylor and Andrew Abel

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Approximate Starstuck Route

Star Struck.

Why call the wall FREJYA?

While exploring the first rock climbing route on this face we were humbled. What an incredible gift it was to be the first team to develop a ground up multipitch route in the zone on Mt Ernest Ross!

Starstruck is positioned about 500 meters to the east of the famous ‘From Nordegg With Love’. This double black via ferrata was the first development in the zone and we wanted to pay homage to its name. Frejya is the name of a Norse goddess of love and hopefully we can keep the love theme going up here. Get out there and enjoy the love!

Approach:

Park on the south side of the road as you would for the Via Ferrata From Nordegg with Love (52.104817, -116.431458). Cross the highway and follow the well established trail all the way up to the start of the Via Ferrata. There is a “Y” with a large rock stack on the trail. Stay right. (the left is the decent trail).

From there, traverse across the base of the wall rising for around 300 meters. The view opens up and the trail begins to descend slightly. At this time you have a skyline view of the low angle buttress where the route starts. Hike under an ephemeral waterfall (Freyja Falls) and gain the ridge to the base of the buttress. A cairn and some yellow-green flagging tape mark the start of the route. 

Beta

The view from the base of Starstruck

The View from the base of Star Struck

Star Struck, P1, first bolt circled in red

Looking up at pitch 1 (first bolt circled)

Pitch 1: 5.7 35 m

Start by the yellow/green flagging – its on the little tree that the hat is on in Picture 1.

(Picture 2) Start up a broken section of rock, pull a little bulge then clip the first bolt (circled in red). Follow the bolts on amazing rock trending left. Mid pitch you will step onto a ledge and move left to clip a bolt before climbing straight up a groove to the next bolt (out of sight). Arrive at a ledge system where the belay is to the right

Pitch 2

Looking up pitch 2

Star Struck Pitch 3

Climbing pitch 3

Pitch 2: 5.7 35 m

(Picture 1) Follow the bolts trending left and leading up to a belay on a nice ledge under two small bulges.

Pitch 3: 5.9 25 m

(Picture 2) From the belay climb up and clip a high bolt then step slightly right. Pull the first crux bulge and trend left to a second bulge. Pull the second crux and climb through amazing rock to the belay.

Pitch 4: 5.9 40 m

(bolt stations at 30m & 40m)

Follow the bolts as they trend left on amazing prickly rock. You can climb the first 30 meters  to an anchor and split up the pitch in two at the ledge if you choose. Alternately, climb this pitch in its entirety and extend pieces to help minimize rope drag, but expect some difficulty.

The view west of 'From Nordegg with Love' from Pitch 5

Looking across pitch 5

Star Struck Pitch 6

Jonathan Waterman starting pitch 6

Pitch 5: 5.5 35 m

(Picture 1) Follow sparse bolts up easier terrain to a belay on a nice slanting ledge.

Pitch 6: 5.7 30 m

(Pitcure 2) Head up trending right and then up to a belay on a nice ledge.

Starstruck pitch 7 traverse

The pitch 7 traverse

Looking down on Pitch 8

Looking down on Pitch 8

Pitch 7: 5.9 35 m

(Picture 1) Head left clipping nicely spaced bolts with a 3-finger pocket that gets you through the crux. Once past the crux, head up then trend left on a ramp to the belay.

Pitch 8: 5.7 35 m

(Picture 2) Head up clipping bolts on good rock to a nice ledge with a belay.

Pitch 9: 5.4 30 m

Head out left clipping a bolt, then follow a nice little path to another bolt with a ringbolt hanger on it up high. Walk across the slope to the base of the waterfall where you can set belay off of a tree.  

Star Struck pitch 10, waterfall

Brian Olstad looking into the waterfall on pitch 10

Janet Welch on Pitch 10 of Star Struck

Finishing pitch 10

Pitch 10: 5.7 30 m

Start climbing on the right side of the waterfall, eventually crossing it just below the lip of the small caldron after bolt three (Picture 1) . Climb up the left side of the waterfall on nice compact stone (Picture 2). Once you pull over the final few steep moves, trend up and left to a bolted station.

The falls run in the spring, and may be dry in the later summer and fall. 

If you anchor at the bolted station, you will need to belay the next leader on a walk-off with no bolts (about 15 feet) to a flat treed ledge where the walk-off starts. You may also choose to continue up and skip the extra anchor and just build a tree belay off your choice of trees (Pictured below).

Star Struck final tree Belay

Tree belay at the top of pitch 10

Descent:

Walk, or Rappel

Once you get to the final tree belay or walk-off spot (Pictured) Bushwack roughly west, across the top of the plateau to a picnic table at the top of ‘From Nordegg With Love’ or rappel the route. We recently worked to establish a path down to the picnic table. Follow the indications of broken dead branches and cairns where we could find rocks. If you can’t find the table, you will end up at a small talus slope at the end of the trail of cairns. Follow the talus to the well marked decent from the Via Ferrata. Turn right (roughly west) and follow the decent trail. Keep left at any junctions and follow this trail down and across the base of Mt Ernst Ross, until you get back to the original large cairn from the approach trail. turn right, and down to the highway. 

All rappels are set up to work with a single 70 m rope.

**Reversing Pitch nine can be tricky for the second on descent. If the leader feeds the rap ring, the second can be back belayed off it easily as they down climb to the station**

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1 Comment

  1. brian

    Finally got to climb this and it truly is a classic. the rock quality is excellent and the route finding is fairly straightforward. The walk off is almost harder!

    Reply

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