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specialed

[TR] Mt. Alberta- NE Ridge 8/18/2004

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Climb: Mt. Alberta-NE Ridge

 

Date of Climb: 8/18/2004

 

Trip Report:

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.

 

775Canadian_Rockies_Aug_04_033-med.jpg

 

775Canadian_Rockies_Aug_04_007-med.jpg

 

775Canadian_Rockies_Aug_04_016-med.jpg

 

775Canadian_Rockies_Aug_04_030-med.jpg

 

775Canadian_Rockies_Aug_04_056-med.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

alpine rack, pins

 

Approach Notes:

no bears, lots of loose scree

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This picture is awesome:

775Canadian_Rockies_Aug_04_016-med.jpg

 

Nice work Special. In the overview picture of the mountain (your first picture), the NE ridge is the right skyline, yes?

 

bigdrink.gifthumbs_up.gif

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bigdrink.gifbigdrink.gifbigdrink.gif So did you find any of Tobin Sorenson's body parts up there or what?

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The canadian rockies are so cool. Thanks for the great pictures. Always impressed by the scale of stuff there.

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August 2003, airial view, (dry year)

 

263793HNFACE.jpg

 

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.

 

confused.gif

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wasn't it Wilford who traversed under the headwall over to the Ne ridge and finished up that? And I believe someone else before him did the same thing...

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the north face looked considerably worse than 2003. the first icefield was almost black from the constant rockfall, the small ice slope above the yellow bands was basically gone, the upper rock band was streaming water and the newly formed seracs on top cut loose at least once. amazing changes going on up there. gonna have to change tactics if you wanna tick those faces.

 

overall, a very successful trip. thanks for slowing down so i could keep up. the youth these days sure are strong--too well fed as pups, i guess.

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yea, wilford climbed the upper northeast ridge to retreat off the north face above the yellow bands. i don't remember the year. including wilford, who climbed the hardest part of the route during his epic, there have been at least 4 recorded ascents prior to peter and i. put up in 1985, it likely has had some anonymous ascents as well.

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775Canadian_Rockies_Aug_04_012-med.jpg

 

damn that looks horrific, but I think it's wet from rain just as much as it is from snow melt, the N face takes the longest to dry out from the rain, basically you need several dry days then enough good days to ascend.

 

I think it's a trade off between the yellow band being iced upped and mixed and the headwall being dry and ice free. The yellow band is easier iced up but then the headwall is going to have ice also. I think it's rare conditions that you have the yellow band iced and the headwall dry.

 

I believe the route is to the left of where the serac calves.

 

Deklerck said the headwall pitches were dry and went at 5.10 no aid, but knowing Deklerck it could have been runnout.

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That's a wicked damn mountain. Nice work!!

 

Another ascent of the NE Ridge: Mark Price and partner (I forget his last name) did it in the early '90's.

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