On July 19th, Michael Thompson, myself, two female companions and one dog
took off from Takakkaw Falls trail head and hiked in the necessary 10k+ to the
little Yoho campground passing by numerous falls. As soon as we had our tents
pitched, it rained on and off for the next 3 days. The next morning, we chose to do
the scramble of Mt Kerr awaiting better weather. On July 21st, we started out at
5:AM and summitted the President in under 3 hours. Michael took a break at the
col while I summitted Vice President and we were back at camp for espresso
before 10:30. When we arrived at camp initially, I had questioned a well
equipped group stationed at the luxurious 5-star Alpine Club Hut, outfitted with
plastic boots, ropes and ice axes to spare, about the route. They had taken 11
hours on the 19th. Because I had on hiking boots and asked what I presumed
they thought were stupid questions, they were hesitant with any beta on the
mountain or route.
Interesting enough, when it came time to pick a route, I chose the opposite side
of the glacier to proceed up. We took the left hand side picking an ascent route
through several crevasses and then finished to the col over the 'schrund on the
right side. This route was fast and esthetically pleasing, as well as kept us out of
harms way regarding any rock or ice fall. I noted one soft bridge on our descent
of the same route. The 'schrund is huge, relative to this glacier. If you have to
climb in and out if it, definitely allow for more time. Once we got to the col, we un
roped and proceeded up to the President on snow, rock and some ice. We
signed the summit register and then I scattered up Vice President and signed it's
register as well. We had wintry conditions at the col and the peaks, with no
views. Our descent was typically quick. I would do this mountain solo, but of
course, l was grateful for a partner on glacier travel.
Our total ascent from camp was 3000'+/-. Double click on the smaller photo to
the right to get a solid view of the glacier, we picked our way through the left and
met the col on the right. There are two approaches, either cross the bridge by the
wardens cabin and proceed on the trail as it follows the drainage and proceed up
to the left hand moraine's edge dumping you on the glacier lower left, or gain the
left hand moraine earlier by veering left off the trail as soon as you pass the sign
marking the Kiwetinok Pass at 4k. Start glacier left, ascend and then traverse
glacier right as you aim for the 'schrund towards the col.
We hiked out via the Iceline Trail (superb views) and were rewarded
with great weather the rest of the day.
Sounds like fun. Would this route be appropriate for relative novices (with glacier travel training of course)? I was eying these peaks from my campsite in the Little Yoho Valley this summer. Beautiful setting. I enjoy your pages! - Colin
Colin, yes, it is an ideal route for begginer-intermediate. I would go back up with you for sure myself, as I have a ton of scrambles I have to knock off in the area. I will spend quite a few days back there when I go back. I would do this glacier route solo is how comfortable I am with it. But of course each person has their own comfort zone regarding exposure.
Dow - My brother, a friend and myself are planning on taking the 6-day Intro to Mountaineering course with Yamnuska next July (especially to learn about glacier travel as none of use have any experience....yet). We were hoping to try climbing a couple of peaks after the course, hence all of my pesky questioning to which you so graciously offer your advice. If you don't mind climbing with a few newbie Manitobans we would be more than happy to have you join us. - Colin
PS Are you planning to construct a Mount Burgess page on SP. I was considering it (I went up it two years ago), but saw that you had it on your personal page. If you do add it to SP I wil certainly add some photo's otherwise maybe I'll add it.
I was Colin, but no worries if you add it. I have not added my Yoho summits to SP yet. If you add it I will contribute to your page, and/or vice versa. As I recall, Burgess has a south summit option that was somewhat hairy.
As far as climbing, I am no pre-madona. I just love getting out and if I am with athletic, cool people, I don't care their level of experience. President and V. Pres. is perfect for your group, because even if the weather sucks, their are plenty of scrambles to do there that are quite challenging. And you don't need much of a window two get these two in. We had bad weather and just snuck up there one morning and were down in time for cappuccino.
I would be interested, just put on your calendar to email me prior. If you are going to reserve space in the hut, make sure to do that quite in advance. Cheers!
Sound good Dow. I'll be sure to contact you before we leave for the rockies. In case you're wondering here are some other peaks that I'm interested in for next year: Mt. Hector, Mt. Chephren, Unnamed peak (3155m at LL), and south ridge of Mt Edith to name a few. We obviously won't have time to climb that many peaks, but we thought we might be able to fit in around three days of climbing after the course. Of course plans can change between now and then (hopefully we can take more time!). Let me know the next time you visit Manitoba. - Colin
""You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.""