Direct Lake

Map Lount Lake 52 L/1, co-ordinates 107455

Direct Lake Cliff is the largest cliff found as yet in the Kenora area. Approximately 170 ft at the high point, the cliff extends for a full kilometer, with half of the cliff in excess of 100 ft in height. As of this writing, many unclimbed classics remain ripe for the picking. Direct Lake has granite crack climbing in a remote location. Wire-brushes & helmets are needed for most new routes.

Trips are best planned for long weekends, as the journey can be time consuming (4-5 hrs from Wpg). A canoe or small boat is required to access the cliff. Approach on the Lount Lake Road as for Pic Lake, except branch left towards the Quarry at the 3 way fork 2 km past Panorama Cliff. Follow this road for approximately 2 km, bearing R at each branch. Follow the first narrow road ascending to the R. This road winds for approximately 3 km with a short muddy section just before ending in a parking area. A short hiking trail descends to the lake. High ground clearance (pick-up or 4WD) vehicles are recommended. The cliff is 2 km away at the West end of the lake, but is not visible from the landing at the East end of the lake. Alternative access can be gained by canoe/portage from Pic Lake, SE through Axis Lake, to the NE corner of Direct lake, or via quad trails off Lount Lake Rd past Pic Lake.

An excellent campsite exists in a grove of large Red Pine trees adjacent the barren rock island frequented by transient birds (“birdshit-rock”) on the E side of the Lake’s N arm, & is a short (0.5 km) paddle from the cliff. This site accommodates up to 4 large tents, has benches & a latrine, & is recommended for use by climbing parties. Smaller cliffs (with large crystals, but heavy lichen) can be found along the lake’s N arm. Camping can also be found on a point 600m to the NNE of the landing, however use of this site necessitates repeated trips across the wind-prone lake when staying more than 1 night. Smaller parties can also find camping on the large island immediately East of the cliff.

All route locations are given relative to the usual landing area; the “Ship’s Prow” which is the prominent overhanging arete at the left end of the cliff overlooking the Lake. Boat access only.

Route Descriptions (L-R)

Exit Route

From the Ship’s Prow, scramble left along the base of the cliff. Do not ascend ramps along
the cliff-side. The ER begins 100 ft left and uphill of the blocky stream crossing, & is an easy scramble at an obvious break in the cliff (approx 10 minutes from Ship’s Prow).

Eagle’s Corner 5.6, 90’

Climb the right facing corner ascending the left of the slab above blocky stream crossing.
FA Jake & Cindy Klassen, 8/98

I’m Not Good With Names 5.7, 90’

Ascend the left facing corner on the right of the same slab.
FA Jake Klassen, Mike Shale 6/30/97

Stick in the Eye 5.6, 60 ft

Starts 25 ft left of Sting in the Tail. Climb the parallel left trending cracks to the L facing corner choked with chockstones. Protect the belayer from rockfall, as there are several loose blocks on the route. Exit right below the block at top.
FA Brian McMillan, Rob Hester, 10/1/05

Sting in the Tail 5.9, 50 ft

A L facing corner, 20’ left of the low overhang. Last 20’ is the crux, a good challenge for the grade. Several (unclimbed) difficult lines may be possible on the overhanging face to the left.
FA Darren Tomczak, Brian McMillan , 7/01

Smells Like Chicken, Tastes Like Fish 5.8, 5.9, 30ft

Just right of the low overhang. Side by side climbs. Ascending either side of a large triangular block nestled in a corner behind a tall pine tree. Routes meet at the top.
TR Dave Kenefick, Bob Maslowski, 9/96
FFA Jason Gerbrandt , Scott Gerbrandt, 8/3/02

Baby Bear 5.7, 60 ft

The obvious left facing corner approx 100ft right of SLC,TLF. Chimney behind the stacked blocks. Follow corner crack to top.
FA Brian McMillan, Christine Mazur, 9/3/06

Momma Bear 5.10c, 30 ft

Satisfying crack/face route 15 ft R of Baby Bear, 15 ft L of Pooh Pirates. Has an obvious, large 5 ft. high triangle-shaped crack in middle of climb. Follow the thin crack above the triangle and use edges to reach the ledge.
TR Ken Boyko, 9/3/06

Pooh Pirates from Pic Lake 5.10, 70 ft

Midway between the SP & the Creek, 30’ left of a rounded outside corner. Ascend a clean crack through a small over-hang. Continue up a R facing inside corner to ledges.
TR Rob Hester, Jake Klassen, Bob Maslowski, Brian McMillan, Lyle Rotter, 6/29/97
FFA Jason Gerbrandt, Scott Gerbrandt 8/3/02

Crack Addiction 5.10hard, A0, 50 ft

Overhanging offwidth crack to the right of PPFPL. First ascent was primarily aid.
FA Mick Hawley, 9/3/06

Brown Trousers 5.10, A0, 50 ft

Just right of Crack Addiction. Climb the slot filled with dubious blocks to the offwidth above. Crux is getting from the crack into the offwidth. Large pro & clean shorts needed for the offwidth.
FA Mick Hawley, Brian McMillan, 9/2/07

Dirty Laundry 5.9, 80 ft

Climb the R facing corner (5.9) over heavy lichen, traverse right below overhanging blocks and follow cracks to top. Prepare to get very dirty if leading!!
FA (5.8 A0) Brian McMillan, Christine Mazur, 9/3/06

SCGB 5.7, 70 ft

A R facing corner. Climb behind or around a large block (cave) at 30’, the climb continues above through a chimney. Watch for loose blocks near the top.
FA Bob Maslowski, Lyle Rotter, 6/29/97

Hardcore Chicken 5.9, 85 ft

Follow the corner crack that continues above SCGB.
FA Mick Hawley, Ken Boyko, 7/23/06

Cannibal Soup 5.10b, 85 ft

First obvious climb 60-80 ft to the left of the SP. Start up the open-book. Move left & up thin cracks & face for 15 ft (crux) to a ledge. Lie-back above & finish up the chimney.
TR Bob Maslowski, Brian McMillan, Lyle Rotter, 6/30/97

Ship’s Prow 5.9, 85 ft

Follow the obvious line to the R of the Prow. Large pro required.
TR Val Chan, Bob Maslowski, Brian McMillan, 8/99
FFA Jason Gerbrandt, Scott Gerbrandt, 8/4/02

The Vase 5.10b, 85 ft

Follow the obvious corner 20 ft R of the Ship’s Prow.
FA Cory McFarlane, Avi Barzelai, 9/1/07

Action In-Direct 5.10a, 85 ft

The first route climbed at the cliff following it’s discovery. Start 60 ft R of the SP. Ascend the blocky corner. Traverse left and up along the left trending flake to the top. A direct start may be possible.
TR Dave Kenefick, Bob Maslowski, Brian McMillan 8/96

When the Boat Comes In 5.10c, 100ft

45 ft R of Action In-Direct. Ascend a R facing corner. Climb onto the arete to the shot crack above, then move right to the left trending ramp. Follow the overhanging crack to the top. A harder variation (5.11c) follows the right facing corners to the top & avoids both the arete & the ramp above.
TR Dave Kenefick, Bob Maslowski, Brian McMillan 9/96
TR(Variation) Ken Boyko, JC Garcia Alonso, Cory McFarlane 9/1/07

When the Fat Lady Sings 5.11b, 100 ft

140 ft R of SP. Possibly the best climb established to date. Climb the obvious chimney. Traverse R out the top of the chimney, & follow the sustained overhanging crack to the top.
TR Bob Maslowski, Dave Kenefick, 9/96

Angle of the Dangle 5.hard,100 ft

An unfinished project. Scramble up ledges 150 ft R of WTFLS, & follow the seam to the top. Route is steep/overhanging.

One Night Stand 5.10b, 90 ft

Climb the face to a R facing corner, 30 ft R of Angle of the Dangle. Traverse below the block on a right arcing line.
TR Cory McFarlane, Bob Maslowski, 8/99

Rocky Picture Horror Show 5.9, 90 ft

Wriggle up the nasty overhanging offwidth, climbing outside on the left whenever possible. Follow blocky chimney to the top.
TR Brian McMillan 9/2/07

Project 5.9, A1, 120 ft

P1: Climb R facing corner (5.9, A1) to base of ramp. Fixed pin protects initial moves.
P2: Climb the slab above.

The Three Bears 5.9, 3 short pitches

Scramble up left trending ramps from the water’s edge.
P1: When ledge system ends, climb to base of headwall. The top 30 ft are unprotected.
P2: Traverse left to below blocky corner.
P3: Climb the right-most corner (5.9)
FA Mick Hawley, Brian McMillan, 9/2/06

Back-door Corner 5.10a, 160 ft

Get in your boat, & head R to the middle of the cliff past the large ramps & ledges. BDC starts 100 ft left of the large overhang at the high point on the cliff, & follows the big R facing, R trending inside corner to a right trending crack (crux). Tie your boat up & scramble up the lower ledges to begin the climb at the base of the corner.
TR Rob Hester, Bob Maslowski, Brian McMillan 7/97
FA Jake & Cindy Klassen 8/98

Goldilocks 5.6, 140 ft

From the large boulder field in the middle of cliff, ascend the left trending ramp at 4th- 5th
class. Final 30 ft climbs a 5.6 corner to the left of the large block.
FA Brian McMillan, Mick Hawley, 9/2/06

DDD 5.10a, 120 ft

20 ft L of low large overhangs. Start up a blocky corner. Move left along undercling onto the slabby face. Sustained face moves on small crystals up the clean streak to the top.
TR Rob Hester, Brian McMillan, 8/98

DD 5.6, 140 ft

Start as for DDD, but continue straight up corner. Move L horizontally across crack. Follow grooves to the top.

Momma Bear’s Project 5.4, 60 ft?

Audacious attempt at first ascent was free solo by a local, unfortunately ending in splash- down as witnessed by 6 visiting climbers. Alternate exit ramps to the right established by the twins.
FBA (first bear attempt) Momma, 9/2/06