Friday, July 24, 2009

Mt. Deltaform (III 5.5) & Ten Peaks Traverse

Had an amazing 3 day adventure with Brad J. in the Valley of the 10 peaks area. During the 3 days we did a total of 36 hours of climbing and summited 3 mountains including the challenging Mt. Deltaform.

The impressive N. Face of Mt. Deltaform. Our route climbed over the entire skyline on day 1.

On day 1 we started early and hiked to Wenkchemna Pass and began climbing. The first peak was Neptuak and there were about 6 pitches of rock climbing and tons of scrambling to reach the summit. From the top we downclimbed and rappelled to the col below Deltaform. From here we continued up the NW ridge over lots of challenging terrain to the summit of this rarely climbed 11000er. Already quite tired, we were hoping for a straightfoward descent down the other side, but it was not to be. The descent down the East ridge ended up being the crux of the day with lots of rappels, downclimbing on steep rock, snow, & ice, and extremely challenging route finding. Finally, after 16 hours on the move we reached flat ground on the edge of the glacier at almost 10000 feet. We flattened out an area for our pads and sleeping bags then had a quick dinner
before falling asleep.

Brad and our bivi site. Sleeping pads are visible on the rocks in the left side of picture.
Up early the next morning we decided to forgo our plan of summiting Mt. Tuzo & Allen and instead decided to traverse around them. Unfortunately this ended up being rather unpleasant and involved hours of traversing on scree, loose rock, and unconsolidated snow slopes. The views however were absolutely jaw dropping. The Goodsir Towers and the Bugaboos in the distance were the highlight. Finally the neverending traverse around Mt. Allen ended and we managed to summit Mt. Perren before crossing the final glacier to the hut below Mt. Little. Again we were exhausted and were thankfull for the hut after our 11 hour day.

Brad pounding out the miles on the neverending traverses.
A good sleep and then up and at it again. Our goal for the day was Mt. Fay but high temperatures, soft snow, and some rockfall caused us to turn around low on the peak. I think our bodies thanked us for turning around too! A quick descent down the Perren route returned us to Moraine Lake and the truck.
Despite the fact that there wasn't very much good climbing (except on Deltaform), it was an excellent adventure in a wild alpine area that neither of us will soon forget.
J. Mills
CRAG Owner & Head Guide

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