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Mount Athabasca Climber's Log

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climbwildNorth Glacier, North Face


My main hill when I'm in Canada; this mountain is usually my destination when heading to the
Columbia Icefield area. I have trip reports on my personal site. See photos of the trips on my
Trip Reports on climbwild.net/:

  • North Face
  • North Glacier.

    For a comprehensive study of this mountain, click on Mt. Athabasca. I also have posted route pages for every established route on the mountain:

  • North Face
  • Hourglass
  • North Glacier
  • North Ridge
  • AA Col
  • Silverhorn
  • Posted Apr 15, 2006 6:18 pm

    Michel CRoute Climbed: Date Climbed: Spring 1989  Sucess!

    Michel C

    First 10k ft + hike, I hired a private mountain guide since I was alone and did not want to take any risk.. It was a good decision.. Everything went well.. This mountain was the closest to mountaineering that I did.
    Posted Nov 27, 2005 11:44 pm

    tdoughtyRoute Climbed: North Glacier Date Climbed: August 1985  Sucess!


    4 hr RT, with descent down glacier to west, where I promptly dropped shoulder deep into two crevasses in a fifteen minute time span.
    Posted Sep 4, 2005 9:59 pm

    UncleBobRoute Climbed: North glacier Date Climbed: August 11, 2004  Sucess!
    Dry summer conditions, very easy ascent up exposed glacier ice and typical summer snow. Ideal for beginners to alpine.
    Posted Aug 22, 2005 10:51 pm

    Dow WilliamsRoute Climbed: Silver Horn Date Climbed: August, 2003  Sucess!

    Dow Williams

    Little A glacier was in good shape. Crevasses presented themselves in the open and the snow bridges seemed to be solid. There are much less objectionable hazards dealing with the more strenuous 1000'+ of ice on Silverhorn then the North Glacier hump below the seracs. You clear the col right below Silverhorn and then proceed straight up the main rib to the right. Once on the Silverhorn summit, it is just a ridge walk to the main summit. We did descend the North Glacier route, but moved quickly. There was one fresh ice fall on the route. It does not take long to cross though. The main glacier route itself is straight forward as long as you have decent visibility. It took us less than 5 hours to summit, and 2.5 hours to descend.
    Posted May 10, 2005 12:20 am

    captainwhoRoute Climbed: Silverhorn Date Climbed: July 2004  Sucess!
    Solo ascent of the Silverhorn, Negotiated sheer ice slope as earlier mild temps thawed entire snowcover, Two ice tools were a must, bargained with God the entire way up, descended Normal Route
    Posted Mar 20, 2005 1:33 am

    Pawel KrolRoute Climbed: Silverhorn Date Climbed: july 2004  Sucess!

    Pawel Krol

    Nice, first glacier route
    Posted Mar 3, 2005 12:49 pm

    FuggedabouditRoute Climbed: North Face Bypass Date Climbed: September 5, 2004  Sucess!


    Originally hoped for the North Face. Guided by Barry Blanchard, contact him through Yamnuska Guide Service, he is the best guide I have ever climbed with. We got up into the bowl at the base of the NF, about 20 meters in elevation below the first ice, but Barry felt the entire bowl was unstable after doing avy tests on way up the bowl (it had been heavily slabbed the day before). Weather looked like it was going to crap and we saw party abandoning the Silverthorn. We decided to give it a little bit more of a shot so we dropped down and traversed left. Went up a snow gully that is between the N Ridge and the NF (hence, the NF bypass). This then took us to the upper N Ridge (crappy rock) and then up and over to the summit. Of course as we hit summit ridge (beautiful) the weather cleared and it was clear at the top. We were the only ones on the mountain at this point, awesome! Descended the AA col. The scree on descent sucks, no two ways about it.
    Posted Dec 29, 2004 5:38 pm

    EvilGoodGuyRoute Climbed: AA Col Date Climbed: May 24 2004  Sucess!


    Excellent Climb, 9 hours return.
    Posted Jun 26, 2004 2:01 pm

    ant morganRoute Climbed: North Face Date Climbed: Sept 2001  Sucess!

    ant morgan

    Climbed under full conditions - snow, wind and whiteout.

    Beware of avalanche danger on normal route descent
    Posted May 4, 2004 9:01 pm

    ant morganRoute Climbed: Silverhorn Date Climbed: Feb 2000  Sucess!

    ant morgan

    A long, cold winter ascent.
    Posted May 4, 2004 8:57 pm

    Dan BaileyRoute Climbed: n.glacier route (?) Date Climbed: summer 2002  Sucess!

    Dan Bailey

    what a superb wee mountain
    Posted Feb 10, 2004 12:02 pm

    ktnbsRoute Climbed: Normal Date Climbed: September 29, 2003  Sucess!


    Super day. 9 hour round trip from the parking lot.

    Only two other climbers on the mountain.

    Misty clouds in the AM breaking clear by the saddle. Great views of Columbia and Bryce rising above the mists. Boy-howdy coming down on the moraine is hard on the toes and knees.
    Posted Oct 3, 2003 12:55 am

    Wyoming BobRoute Climbed: Silverhorn Date Climbed: August 3, 2003  Sucess!

    Wyoming Bob

    14 hour day on the Silverhorn, multiple bands of blue ice, many ice screws, another party on route, return via Normal Route
    Posted Aug 14, 2003 10:05 pm

    SharonRoute Climbed: AA Col Date Climbed: 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2002  Sucess!


    AA Col

    May 26, 2002

    Partners: Ken Sands, Jennifer Fry, Kent Bendell, Christine Slider, Chris (female).

    6th time I've summitted via AA Col. Perfect weather provided the very best views I've ever had on top: Mts. Columbia, Alberta, Snow Dome, Saskatchewan (forgive mispelling) glacier....

    Smooth climb despite 6 on rope...Spokane Mountaineers Mtn School grad climb...I was an instructor again. Snow covered most of the scree on the approach....nice! Fixed ropes for descent as verglas/running water on rock wall beside AA icefall....safer for beginners.


    AA Col

    May 25, 1997

    Partners: Diane Britton, Dennis Scott, Dave.

    5th time I've summitted...was an instructor for the Spokane Mountaineers...Mountain School grad climb.


    AA Col

    May 26, 1996

    Partners: Ben Shook, Bob Britton, Diane Britton, Brad Blevins.

    Bad weather: cold, wind, snow, fog most of the way but we persevered & made it. This was the 4th time I summitted Athabasca via the AA Col (Spokane Mountaineers grad climb; I was an instructor)


    AA Col

    May 28, 1995

    Partner: Annette Polastri Briner (my figure skating coach).

    After turning back from my 2 previous attempts (May 1991; avalanche risk & May 1993; volunteered to run sweep & brought down ill students), it was a joy to summit for my 3rd time.

    Perfect conditions-- a bit too perfect, as it got so warm in the col on the descent. This was Annette's first big peak.


    AA Col

    May 27, 1990

    Partners: Steve Reynolds, Ken Hill, Steve Trefts.

    Steve R. & I announced our engagement & Steve gave me the ring on top!

    This was my 2nd ascent of Athabasca via this route...a Spokane Mountaineers grad climb...I did it as an instructor.


    AA Col

    May 28, 1989

    Partners: Steve Reynolds, Brian Grove, Craig Grossman.

    Done with the Spokane Mountaineers (Washington State, USA) as the Grad climb for Mountain School 1989.
    Posted Jul 22, 2003 10:44 pm

    asmrzRoute Climbed: The North Face Date Climbed: September 16, 1985  Sucess!


    Miguel Carmona and I got introduced to the Canadian Rockies while climbing the North Face in 1985. Cought in horrible blizzard high on the face and the fact, that Miguel's brand new X-15 pick bent 90 degrees half way up the exit gully (incorrect heat treatment in the factory), we almost had an epic. But it showed us that mountains are not benign everywhere, just in California. This was a really beautiful mountain climb, one that I will never forget.
    Posted Nov 16, 2002 7:06 pm

    Wyoming BobRoute Climbed: Normal Route Date Climbed: August 8, 2002  Sucess!

    Wyoming Bob

    Successful in reaching summit via Normal Route, 7 1/2 hour round trip. Good snow conditions, no crevasse hassles.
    Posted Sep 12, 2002 4:04 pm

    rhlairdRoute Climbed: Silverhorn Date Climbed: August 21, 2002  Sucess!


    Summited with Steve Jobe and Chris Hamilton. Beautiful day up a long hard route. Played in the icefield before reaching the base of the climb. Tricky getting over the 'scrund. Had to "swim" over two crevasses on the Silverhorn. Assted in communicating a needed rescue on the North Ridge. If anyone knows of climbers rescued via helicopter on this date, it would be appreciated to let me know they are alright.
    Posted Aug 25, 2002 6:07 pm

    Fred SpickerRoute Climbed: Silverhorn Date Climbed: 8 Sept 1976  Sucess!

    Fred Spicker

    Climbed with Rick Johnson.
    Posted Jul 25, 2002 4:43 pm

    mshareskiRoute Climbed: AA col Date Climbed: July 10 2002  Sucess!
    Beautiful weather! It had rained a couple of days before. That made the snow fairly solid and icy in spots. Descent from Silverhorn to AA glacier was getting fairly slushy by noon. Evidence of wet slides on the back side / slabs on the front.
    Posted Jul 12, 2002 12:24 pm

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