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jja

Canadian rockies beta request

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I've got 9 days in august for climbing in the canadian rockies, 2 days for travel and 7 for climbing. Interested mostly in moderate "classic" alpine routes to about .8-ish and would like to get the most climbing on the best routes possible for the time we have. I've never been to the area, but partner has mucho grande experience and is the designated rope gun. I've been instructed to come up with some ideas to add to the tick list. I'm looking for routes that are all day long (possible bivy ok), no more than a day approach, not crowded (yeah right), lots of history, exposure, and aesthetics. After a quick glance at my newly purchased selected alpine climbs, this is a list of possibles I've come up with. Anything you would add or subtract to this list?

 

tia,

john

 

Mount Sir Douglas east ridge (maybe nw face)

Mount Assiniboine north ridge

Mount Temple east ridge

Oubilette Mountain east ridge (south summit)

Mount Sir Donald nw arete

Bugaboo Spire ne ridge

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mount sir "nemesis"? you mean

 

better plan on a couple of weeks for that one. yellaf.gif

 

you should take the whole week and go do N face of Bryce.

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if you went to the 'bugs i'd plan on more than just that one route (which can be super crowded), but you'll figure that out as soon as you get there. weather's the trick as most of the approaches i believe are pretty easy...most of the folks that we talked to on the hike in had spent the previous week sitting out storm after storm -we went the last week of aug. like a buddy had done the previous year and had one short storm followed by 5 straight bomber bluebird days thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

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mt louis, anything in ramparts, but if you go there spend a week there. n ridge of stephen is ok. n face of athabasca should be a quick tick. odaray mtn., tarrant buttressis supposed to be good.

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Dru said:

you should take the whole week and go do N face of Bryce.

 

The book says there's a logging road and the route is doable in 3 days, is that only if everything goes right?

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Crack said:

if you went to the 'bugs i'd plan on more than just that one route (which can be super crowded), but you'll figure that out as soon as you get there. weather's the trick as most of the approaches i believe are pretty easy...most of the folks that we talked to on the hike in had spent the previous week sitting out storm after storm -we went the last week of aug. like a buddy had done the previous year and had one short storm followed by 5 straight bomber bluebird days thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

 

after reading some tr's on the web I think you're right and this one would require a lot of time, and would only be worth it if we did more than one route.

 

... weather's a crapshoot everywhere right? or are the bugaboo's worse?

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glassgowkiss said:

mt louis

 

missed that one .. looks good, esp. like the part about "All the routes can be climbed in a day trip from the road" ... guess the Kain route would be the obvious classic here right?

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Mt Louis and Brewer Buttress are good

 

Fay, N Face is good, but kind of a nutty approach

 

N Face of Athabaska is good and so is the Hourglass route

 

Photo Finish on Andromeda is good.

 

Oubilette Mountain east ridge (south summit)

 

I would not call this route a good first time CR climb unless you're a bit better than a 5.8 climber. Also this route forces you to climb through an hourglass choke point where big rocks fall down regularly, if you take the regular approach. It is a cool route though!

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East Ridge of Edith Cavell

North Face of Edith Cavell (I recommend you do E Ridge first, just to get used to how big that mountain is!!)

N Face of Fay is interesting, really cool to hang at Neil Cogan hut.

Cant go wrong on Athabasca or Andromeda, any route.

E Ridge of Temple

Grassi Ridge

Brewer Buttress/Ultra Brewers

Sir Donald on the way there or on the way back.

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If you're looking more for alpine rock routes, as opposed to true alpine climbs (your hit list looks that way), I would recommend the Bugaboos over the Rockies. The rock is much better and, assuming the weather is good, you will do a lot more climbing because it is all accessible from one camp. Also, I do not think the approach to the NE Ridge of Bugaboo could be described as long -- you rope up no more than 4 or 5 hours from the car and it is probably easier to get to and from than half of those on your initial tick list. For alpine rock, the Bugaboos rock. For alpine grandeur, the rockies offer some real mountain ambience that feels more like the world's high mountain ranges than the Bugs, but you will have to be prepared for more loose rock, more complex descents, more carry-overs, and other mountaineering challenges that are minimized in the Bugaboos. AlpineK notes some good and relatively moderate alpine routes.

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thanks mattp (and everbody else) .. yeah, I think I'd like to do mostly rock, with maybe one snow/ice route. I like the suggestion of Fay that's been mentioned a couple of times.

 

I'm pretty much clueless on the area which is why I asked for beta. generally I just look at the pictures and say

- ooh that looks cool !! rockband.gif

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S. Ridge of Mt Gimli is in the same general neighbourhood and

very fun. Cpt Cavemen can probably get you a topo yellaf.gif

 

The Kain route on Mt Louis is a long but not hard day out

of Banff, and the mountain itself has no walk-up route,

very striking. "Homage To the Spider" on this peak is a

route I would like to find out more info about, I have

heard it is high quality but hard for "5.8".

 

Of course it is hard to be definitive about the weather.

The Bugs can have very nice weather, but by late august it can

become cyclical with 2-3 days of storm followed by 3-4 days of

sun. If you can time it right with weather then a

short trip there is worthwhile. The hike in is steep but not

long. If you are going to camp in the Bugs though you should

educate yourself about the rules and prices.

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Cpt.Caveman said:

That's a lot for 9 days. I doubt you'll send em all but it looks like a good list to me bigdrink.gifthumbs_up.gif

 

yeah, we'll never do all that .. just developing a list of possibles, and then we'll play it by ear. It's 7 weeks away and I can't wait to go !!

fruit.gifbigdrink.giffruit.gifbigdrink.gif

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If you're looking for rock routes the Bugs are amazing, and there's LOTS of good routes with short approaches and really good rock. Plus there's a nice hut to hang out at.

 

Assiniboine requires a LONG day in and out unless you can afford the chopper ride, so maybe not a good choice if pressed for time.

 

Mt Sir Donald is VERY cool. I would highly recommend it. Good rock.

 

Castle Mountain is good (Brewers Butt and Eisenhower Tower) and has a hut with a great view.

 

Have heard good things about Mt Louis and East Ridge of Temple, but haven't done these.

 

Your choices are good. Perhaps consider Yak Peak on the way in or out if you're going that way. And remember that the Rockies has really crappy rock compared to anywhere. It scares the crap out of me.

 

Have fun.

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Mt Louis-Gmoser to Kain- pretty good. N Face of Stanley would be a good intro.

E Ridge of Temple- good rock on Big step, but the Black towers are scary.

don't forget Yamnuska!!!! SMC Wall*****, good intro to limestone climbing.

also on crappy weather days don't forget about 14 or 15 good crags in the area.

for longer rock routes you can also check Ghost, there is some very cool lines there.

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Someone mentioned Mt. Louise. Defintely do that, there is no walk up route which makes for a spectactular summit. You can do any of those routes on it in a day, but get an early start. The approach is well traveled hiking trail, around 7 miles round trip if I recall right. I did the Kain route, one of the many he established in the Rockies. First 1500 is 4th class, then rappel onto the ribs, traverse and climb another 1500 for the summit. The decent is pretty straight forward rappels (on the western flank) and some 4th class down climbing, well travel which makes it easy to find the way down, though it look like a maze after the first couple rappels. Close to Banff so you can enjoy a brew afterwards and celebrate an awesome climb.

 

There is a 5.7 on Chinamans (one of the easiest routes on it, the left hand side of the face, well established approach trail from the dam) that is right above Canmore short approach (.5 miles) aprox. 1500 to 2000 feet to the summit that will be shared with tons of tourist since there is a pleasant walk up it that you use for the decent.

 

Down below the dam above Canmore is an awesome little sport area. Climbing is on old limestone coral beds. Wild pockets, cool pinches, just plain old fun, above tourquoise waters. Good rest day activity. Checked out some of the other sport crags in that area, in my opinion it is one of the better ones. Can be crowded though cause of the short approach. Park at the damn and walk down.

 

Athabasca is beautiful. I did Silverhorn, kick myself in the ass for not going for the North Face route. Though in August it might be a little late for it. Also they are snow and ice climbs, no rock.

 

Temple looks stellar, haven't been on it though. Haven't been on any of the other routes you mentioned, but what I know about them is they are all classics just beautiful lines. Mount Louise I didn't run into anybody on the approach or decent, we had an unplanned bivy on the mountain so it was day with not a soul on the mountain except for my partners and myself. Athabasca and Chinaman's we had other parties on the route, on Chinaman's there was climber caused rock fall, on Athabasca no worries it was all snow and ice on Silverhorn. North Face would be a different story, with a rock band high. Castle Tower (?) I believe that is what it is called has intigued me because of the hut that is halfway up the mountain and requires climbing to get to. Also if you are up for a backcountry experience, there is a peak up NE of Jasper that has a long approach, but there is a small climber hut to stay in and a beautiful peak (I forget the name and my guide books are still packed away), but there is a ridge travese that looks so cool and there is a ton of possibilities up the face for 1000 to 2000 rib/face climb on pretty sound looking rock, we got rained out, but still enjoyed the serenity of the area.

 

Dude have fun, the Rockies rock.

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ken4ord said:

Athabasca is beautiful. ... Though in August it might be a little late for it.

 

Traditionally, most people have thought that September is the season for the ice faces. August may actually be a little early for them-meaning they'll have more snow and less ice.

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I've climbed both the N face and the Hourglass in August. Both routes were in good shape, but with the way summers seem to go recently August may be too hot and September would be better.

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ken4ord said:

 

Dude have fun, the Rockies rock.

 

thanks ken, with so many stellar routes I don't see how we can go wrong - unless of course we hit 7 consecutive days of weather shocked.gif

I think I'm just going to have to resolve to go back again for more.

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