Monday, July 5, 2010

Athabasca North Face Bypass with Trent

On the upper N. Ridge as part of the North Face Bypass route on Athabasca.

Climbed a great route on Mt. Athabasca yesterday with Trent from Edmonton in full-on winter weather! We climbed the North Face Bypass route which ascends the snow & ice on the left side of the North Face and then joins the final section of the North Ridge route near the top. Despite the constant snow & wind, the travel conditions were excellent, I was just glad that I know my way around the mountain so well!

Climbing the steep gully on the upper part of the North Ridge.

Trent moved super fast so we quickly crossed the lower glacier and reached the start of the route. The ice face was good step kicking so we climbed up it together and reached the ridge in no time. The storm was raging but we were both enjoying the added adventure! A couple short rock steps led to a steep snow gully and a cruxy bit of snow covered rock. On the last bit of narrow ridge to the summit we had to move slowly due to the wind. After a brief stop on top we quickly began the descent down the AA Col route, which is also in good conditions right now.

Iced-up faces on the summit!

Despite having climbed Athabasca a number of times mid-winter, I think this was the most wintery conditions I have ever encountered on the mountain! Hard to believe it was July!

J. Mills

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