Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Glacier Travel Course & Athabasca Climb

Had a great 3 days at the Icefields last weekend teaching the first Glacier Travel Course of the season and then climbing Mt. Athabasca on Monday.

Practicing crevasse rescues.
There were six enthusiastic participants on the Glacier Course with varying degrees of experience. On Saturday we focused on crevasse rescue techniques for much of the day and by the end everyone was doing really well at it. We also practiced ascending a rope, glissading, self arrest, and holding a fall on snowslopes.

Practicing some steeper snow climbing techniques on day 1.

Sunday we started a bit earlier and headed up onto the North Glacier below Mt. Athabasca. The majority of the day was spent practicing roped up travel and steeper snow & ice climbing. Near the end of the day I downclimbed a steep ice slope and had the group work together to figure out how to rescue me out of the "crevasse". It turned out to be a great way to really bring together the skills learned on day 1.
Travelling roped up on the glacier on Sunday.

On Monday, three of the course participants joined me for an ascent of the AA Col route on Athabasca and everyone did great on it! The route is currently in good conditions, although some new snow slowed things down a little bit. The weather was mostly good and we had great views everywhere except on the very summit which was clouded in. It was the first 11000er for all three of them but I'm sure it won't be the last!
Climbing up the lower glacier between Mt. Athabasca & Andromeda.
Self portrait on the summit of Athabasca!

Decending the upper ridge on Athabasca.
J. Mills

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