It is about 22k back to the Fryatt Hut, which is a good starting point for
this climb. There are also three campgrounds along the way. We biked
in for the first 11k and hiked the remainder. I would have preferred to
cross the Athabasca River via Canoe saving 7-9k vs carrying a 55lb
pack on a bike, but my companions were not keen paddlers and voted
me down. It is an option.
Four of us took off via an alpine start on August 9. We immediately
gained a trail that ascends north of the hut to a creek and upper meadow.
Then follow the creek for a short distance and aim northeast for the
lower crossing points of several low lying ridges and moraines. You will
lose elevation until you find yourself at the base of the col between a
2900 meter unnamed peak and the start of the south ridge to Fryatt.
Gain this 1000' to the col and proceed up and over obstacles on the
south ridge, eventually down climbing into a small corniced col continuing
until just below the south summit of Fryatt.
On our ascent, we made the mistake of traversing left way to early to
gain the southwest face. This put several of us on thin steep ice leading to
nowhere sound. We retreated back and loss 800' of elevation so we
could cross this ice at a much safer angle. This route also involved a
tremendous amount of cambered footing and added 5.6 climbing to the
southwest face once we started up again.
Once below the south summit of Fryatt, traverse left considerably and
start climbing loose rock to gain the west ridge at a notch that is not
always visible. Two in our party climbed the west side of this notch and
we had to belay them over to the east side once on the ridge. Instead of
trying to go through the notch which was filled with ice, two of us found a
short 5.7 move directly right of the notch on good rock. Once on the
west ridge, the climbing improves and fun should be had by all. Towards
the end, traverse right below the summit and come back left to finish it
off. The descent was interesting due to precarious rock fall. We utilized
two rappels (2nd time we broke out the rope) and then each climber
chose different lines of descent and found some snow to assist. Rock fall
is a high hazard on this face. Enjoy!
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