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Mount Athabasca Climber's Log

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ArankaPRoute Climbed:North Glacier with Brian (Dunsum) and Lubos  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 19, 2008


Great weather, early start. Fantastic view on Mt Bryce. Descended down to the AA col.
Posted Mar 5, 2009 12:33 am

jmitch421North Glacier  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 26, 2008


Started out around 3:30am my friend who had never climbed before was having a tough time (fitness) he stayed with some other climbers at the base off to the right of the Silverhorn and we climbed up to the summit with clear views after snow earlier in the morning. Awesome trip!!! :)
Posted Sep 8, 2008 5:28 pm

William MarlerSunny Day on Athabasca  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 16, 2008

William Marler

Tom Marron and I climbed (and descended) Athabasca by the north glacier route on his arm sunny day. The ascent took 4 3/4 hours. It was warm, sunny, and still to stand comfortably on the summit in shirt sleeves. The descent, on surprisingly firm snow despite the warm weather, took 3 hours.
Posted Aug 25, 2008 1:27 pm

caputakaStandard Route then down AA Col  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 3, 2008


Started hiking up the moraines 3:50AM. Summit by 8:00. Descended the AA Col - a MUCH SAFER option as it faces north and the snow stays frozen for longer. Back at car at 11:20. Other group that day started at 7:00am - a little late given the snow conditions I think.
Posted Aug 10, 2008 2:19 pm

Steve LarsonNorth Face  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 28, 2008

Steve Larson

Climbed this with Bill Nootens on a beautiful day. Glacier travel was reasonable, though we got a bit off the beaten track on the way up and punched through a hidden slot. We were about an hour behind another party that left at 3:00 am. We caught up with them at the base of the route, but couldn't quite pass them. Pity, because that meant taking Barry Blanchard's suggested traverse around the standard exit. If the standard exit was hard (Blanchard called it "mixed 5.9?"), then the traverse from the left was harder. And scary. Loose and difficult to protect. We spent about two hours on two short traverse pitches before regaining the route. Ice conditions on the face were so-so. There was generally good ice (some dinner plating) under a variable layer of old snow. You had to excavate somewhere between 4" and 12" of crap to get decent screws. We ended up taking 17 hours car-to-car.
Posted Aug 3, 2008 11:15 am

dunsumSilverhorn  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 20, 2008


Climbed with Lubos Pavel. Six inches of rotten ice covered the good ice. Fun climb; we finished early enough to make a safe descent of the Normal Route which was getting very mushy even still.
Posted Jul 27, 2008 4:01 pm

dunsumNorth Glacier  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 19, 2008


An early start was mandatory as the snow softened quickly. Climbed with Lubos and Aranka - the summit ridge is spectacular. We descended the AA Col.
Posted Jul 27, 2008 3:58 pm

JakesterRoute Climbed: AA Col
Date Climbed: May 25, 2008


Avalanche conditions forced us to turn around at 9,500 feet. Heard many thunderous avalanches on the way down, confirming our decision. Still had a great time.
Posted May 27, 2008 1:34 pm

IanKnoxStandard Route  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 26, 2006
Great intro climb.
Posted Apr 20, 2008 3:54 pm

MtnMagicNorth Glacier, Silverhorn and North Face  Sucess!


Climbed three routes on this very accessible peak. Normal route: 1999 and 2002, Silverhorn: 2003 North Face: 2003 (rapped down almost the whole face after my partner took a 20m fall on the smooth face). One thing that was worrysome on these ascent was the stability of the snow on the traverse on the descent of the normal route. It is best to climb the peak early in the day to be off by midday.
Posted Oct 15, 2007 11:47 am

esugiAthabasca NF  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 16, 2007


Climbed the NF round trip in 15 hours. I think we started on route around 8am and topped out around 4:30pm. This route is not to be taken lightly. Considering the big face, poor ice conditions (rotten ice and shattering everywhere), and rock band crux that had no ice (nowhere near the 5.4 that the Selected Climbs book rates it as, more like 5.8), you have to have your A-game.

It was fun and a great teaser for the upcoming ice climbing season.

My first Canadian Rockies alpine route! I have to go back and climb there more often.
Posted Sep 19, 2007 1:07 am

setrentSliverhorn  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 28, 2007
Decided the North Face was out of condition with all of the fresh snow. The Silverhorn route was a good second choice, an asthetic line up the mountain. Much fun.
Posted Sep 4, 2007 12:17 am

Mike NNorth Face  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 11, 2007

Mike N

Climbed in the North Face in good conditions. Rain for 2 days in the valley below left a new layer of fresh snow on the glacier, summit, and descent route. The climbing route is easy to identify from the road. Follow the moraine from the parking lot along a trail. At the bivy sites (1 hr), get onto the glacier and head up about 45 degrees aiming for the rock outcropping below the Silverhorn. Do not go too far right to avoid rock fall danger and crevasses. We used the largest crevasse to our left as a rail. You will cross about 2-3 crevasses by the time you get to the rock. The slope will steepen again as you get to the bottom of the Silverhorn. Head left, cross a large crevasse (for us in the middle) and get over the col to look at the North Face (1.5-2 hrs). Go up the schrund at its high point and aim for the widest gap in the rock band. It is an obvious weakness between the wider rock band to the right and the much thinner band to the left. The other "gullies" or chimneys just lead to bad rock. The climb gets steepr as it gets higher. The ice below the rock band was poor and thin. No real good screws. We were able to get some tools wedged in between the rock and ice as well as hammer some pins in. It was sketchy at best. You will then head up to the right below the rock band. Head left at the base of the rock to find a good fixed pin. There are 2 more fixed pins in the right of the rock band. This is the hardest move on the route. It involves mixed climbing, not that hard but your 1000 feet above the deck and bad pro. You do not want to fall. There were great spots to jam your tools in on the right between the rock and ice. Good stemming moves for your feet. The left tool placements are not so good. You have to go up a move or 2 to get a good left tool. Keep using the cracks on the right for your best tool placements. It is about 15 feet high, maybe M1? Ranger called it a 5.8, but we had mixed conditions. Once above this, about 50 feet higher on the right is a gap in the rock with 3 fixed pins. This is your last belay before the summit. The summit ridge was narrow and steep. Great views. To descend, go along this ridge and then drop down on to flatter terrain on the summit ridge. Go down then up over the Silverhorn and down to the AA col. We descended the North Glacier Route. Just below the col there are a couple of crevasses to weave around, then onto the ramp of the North Glacier. Move fast through here because there is significant avalanche hazard here. Once back to the base of the Silverhorn, follow your tracks back out. It took us 15 hours car to car. Careful climbing the North Face near and under other parties, you will get hit by ice and/or rock. It's amazing how far sideways those pieces will bounce. The angle of the slope is steep but gentle enough to be able to lean in on your knees and not have any weight on your arms and tools. This is a huge workout for your calves. Find ways to rest using pied-troisieme or whatever it takes. It was 5 rope lengths of a 70 m 8.6mm rope to the rock band. One more length to above the rock band, and then one more to the summit. Ranger said easiest way and least technical way down is the AA col. We just decided to follow other people's tracks down North Glacier. Phenomenal climb. Need both mental and physical game for this one.
Posted Aug 13, 2007 3:53 pm

cp0915North Glacier  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 28, 2007


Started up the Silverhorn with Bala. Considering the condition of the route, I was not comfortable soloing it; belaying would have been impractical. While Bala, who was comfortable doing a solo of the route, continued up, I dropped back down to the North Glacier and went up that way. Scrambled up to the final ice summit in my approach shoes - a touch dicey.

Awesome views of Columbia, Bryce, et al, from the summit.
Posted Aug 3, 2007 3:57 am

spotlyAA Col
Date Climbed: May 29, 2005


Great weather and good cramponing. The view from the summit was fantastic. Climbed with Eric P and a "few" others.
Posted Jul 20, 2007 3:41 pm

GeofflampN Glacier  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 16, 2007


Did the N Glacier highway. Nobody on the mountain on a gorgeous August day, but the snow was getting calf-deep by 11AM. Route is more of a walk than was expected, but still a glorious day out. Silverhorn had a lot of blue ice, swept bare.
Posted Feb 15, 2007 3:16 am

chrisferroNorth Face, 1994


Steve Cosmi and I climbed the North Face of Athabaska in 23 hours round trip, car to car. This was my first big mountain route, and it was a doozy. I was still a smoker back then, and it took us forever just to get to the route, then we pitched the whole climb, leap-frogging leads instead of simul-climbing. The rock band exit was very exciting, with one lonely piton as my belay anchor while Steve led out, put in a few crappy screws and then finally got a good stopper in up high near the end of the rock band. We summitted at 9:30pm and came down in the dark. The aurora borealis was beautiful that night...
Posted Jan 13, 2007 11:15 pm

travelin_lightClimbed North Face  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 14, 2006


Very fun climbing on ice face. Make sure to pick the correct exit or you get traverse across alot of loose rock/soil with no protection worth talking about.
Posted Aug 29, 2006 8:27 pm

ShanoNorth Face (right up the middle)  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 14, 2006


climbed w/ Brian Spiewak. Great moderate route
Posted Aug 28, 2006 8:47 pm

T SharpStandard Route

T Sharp

I have tried this peak 3 times, and as per my low Canadian success level I have yet to find good {acceptable} conditions. I look forward to trying again soon
Posted Aug 6, 2006 12:22 am

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