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[TR] Mt Sir Donald - NW Arete 8/9/2012


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Trip: Mt Sir Donald - NW Arete


Date: 8/9/2012


Trip Report:

Headed up Sir Donald on our way out of the Bugaboos. Decided to do it car-to-car instead of hauling all our stuff up to the bivy.

Started at 3:30am, at the bivy at 5am, at the col at 5:40am, topped out a little after 8am, pictures and lunch for 30 min, downclimbed the ridge and were back at the car at 1:30pm.

We encountered many other parties that day that had brought ropes and racks for pitching out the ridge and rapping down, but we had read that the rappels can be super frustrating and sometimes dangerous (major rappelling accident there on a 50m rope in 2006) so we decided to downclimb, which we were a bit nervous about, but turned out to be ok.

I kind of thought that it would just be a couple moves of 5th class climbing and tons of scrambling up the ridge, but as lame as it sounds, it was pretty "sustained" at 5.3. I feel pretty weak even saying that, but it definitely made us a little nervous on the way up....."we've got to down climb all this?!?!" We were definitely careful on the way down, and it required plenty of concentration, but perhaps it was faster, and our packs were as light as they get.



Cool sunrise at the col


Awesome NW Arete 5.3


Cool exposure!


2500 ft of low 4th/5th class climbing on the ridge


Great views from the summit


PS - there's plenty of false summits

Gear Notes:

If rappelling, you should probably bring a 60m rope

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Nice work! We spoke to you guys on the moraine/scree just above the bivy and then didn't see the two of you until you were coming down. We decided to down climb and rap the ridge instead of dealing with the pyramid bypass descent. Turned out to be a good decision as everyone that we spoke to was complaining of the summit bypass. I thought the ridge was pretty sustained as well. Maybe I'm just a wimp but personally I wouldn't have wanted to down climb the whole thing without a rope. Good on yah! :tup:


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