Climb: Mt. Alberta-NE Ridge
Date of Climb: 8/18/2004
Last week, Rolf Larsen from 11worth and I went up to the Rockies. Drove all day Sunday from 11worth to Field.
Luckily, Parks Canada employees were on strike so were were able to doss in the dirt all week and didn't need to get a b/c pass.
Monday morning went up to the Parkway Center to look at weather forecast. Forecast looked pretty good for the next couple days - sunny with some isolated afternoon showers.
Rolf was keen on climbing Alberta, and since the weather was stable enough we set off to do the NE Ridge.
Left the truck around noon, forded the silty freezing cold Waisporous (sp?) and heade up Woolley Creek.
About 4.5 hrs thru beautiful country and we were up into the alpine, over the col, and down to the Hut.
Got stormed on that night for 10 minutes as an evening storm rolled in. Off at 4:00 AM the next morning after some instant coffee and glue (oatmeal). Made it over to the base of the route before it was light so we sat for about a half hour.
Started the route about 6:00, up some chossy 5.8. Rolf setting off cascaded of rocks with every move. Two roped pitches and we gained the ridge. We soloed up about a 1000' on loosely stacked blocks up to the main headwall where the sketchy 5.10 was supposed to be. WInd was ripping over the north side and we started belaying again. About six real chossy and loose pitches with minimal pro going at about 5.9+ saw us up the headwall. One pitch was actually decent with a hand crack and some chimneying. Of course, right after that I pulled a coffee-table book sized rock onto my head and had to hold it there while I rearranged my self to trundle it.
The last section, was super unconsolidated dinner plates and some snow and no pro. But we managed to sneak around the east side of the steepest snow on a rock ledge as I only had aluminum strap ons and no snow or ice pro.
The summmit ridge was trully a "Sidewalk in the sky," but we were moving too fast to really appreciate it as we summitted at 4:00 pm, and a huge thunder storm was building and moving up valley. An hour later we were at the Japenese Route Gulley. Ten nerve-racking raps, with a thunder of rocks coming down on every rope pull, saw us to the yellow band and we traversed south.
Luckily the thunder storm never materialized and we made it down to the flats before dark, leaving us with a casual and beautiful hike across the moraine and back up the glacier to the hut. A 17 hr day.
Note: N Face is not in in August anymore and hasn't been climbed since the mid-90's, despite attempts by many well-known and strong parties.
After that - a rest day in which I spent all day drinking beer and hitting on the hotty Australian girl that works at the Hostel (to no avail of course).
Passed up an attempt on the E Face of Babel due to bear closures and weather and went east to climb the Kafir Strikes Back on Mt. Edith - III, 10c. Crux pitch was completely soaked so we settled for Homage to the Spider on Mt. Louis - III, 10a. I highly recomend this route as it turned out to be one of the funnest routes I've done. Sustained 5.9/10a, in great position on interesting rock, cool features, challenging but never desperate.
All in all a great trip with a very solid partner. Though Rolf is a cynical bastard, I'm a judgmental asshole so it worked out OK.
alpine rack, pins
no bears, lots of loose scree