Quite the solo trip. We tried a winter ascent with snowmobile access in 1998 but conditions were not good enough. Note that some years the snowmobile guys apparently go up on the upper glacier by the northwest ie your picture "route taken to base of icefall". The crevasses must fill in during the winter.
John Scurlock's aerial picture of the Northwest side on Bivouac shows the snow gully on the righthand side of the NW face which probably is the original ascent route. Also see your pic just underneath Red Tape on Mountain page. If conditions are right for step kicking or easy front pointing it may be the best access to the summit ridge.
Bill, I heard about the snowmobiles on the upper glacier; it's a wonder that some don't get swallowed by crevasses.
Is that snow gully on the West face Andrew Gilmour's route in 1929? I'll consider it if there's no recent debris at the bottom. Thanks for the suggestion.
If you know of any others' stories on Alex, please mention them.
Chris, we went in from the Alberta side with some guys from Grand Prairie and Fort St. John. They had hearsay stories about the Prince George guys pulling snowmobiles out of crevasses. I corresponded with George Evanoff(Prince George Alpine Club) about his winter ascent and routes on the mountain before his fatal encounter with a grizzly. I have a big folder of info, pics and CAJ stuff but we moved houses so I will have to dig for it. We tried two winters in a row but time and conditions always beat us.
I am 90 % sure that snow gully is the route and would be easiest access if the snow is set up and no avalanche hazard although I think they went up that gully in dry summer conditions.
Thanks, and congrats on your ascent of Mount Robson in 2003. If I tell you that Mount Sir Alex is as difficult as Mount Robson, you'll know what I'm talking about!
This is one of the most incredible tales on SP. What an undertaking! I now live in PG and was thinking of a trip into this area. Thanks for the info
Great report of a adventure done in good style. As far as I'm concerned too many people today helicopter into the base of a peak tag the summit and fly home. I've been into this area several times. Climbed the SW face-S Ridge in the winter accessing the mountain on skis up Kitchi Creek. Climbed the N Ridge in the summer accessing the mountain up Saddle Creek. That was the route very nearly completed by Curly Philips and two of his wranglers on their second trip into this area. Amazing to think that they nearly did it equipped the way they were. We named that route the Philips Ridge in honour of them. I know some guys who climbed the east ridge in the winter via Saddle creek. We tried that one in the summer once but got turned back by chossy rock. The mountain is mostly poor quality rock. From my experience winter is the best climbing there because everything is frozen together. If you can climb a snow/ice route in summer that's your best bet.
I got George's CAJ article about the winter trip, and I'll be checking out the SW face-S ridge route on the photo. Excellent info. I'll be in the area most of August. Amazing feat by Philips in 1915 and it was great to find their cairn.
Good article Goran. I have been into Two Lakes/Kakwa falls lots in the past. Around Grande Cache also. I have always wanted to get in to this area. Have you tried from BC side at all? Any info/beta on Mt Ida?
Have you read my Summitpost trip report: Third Expedition to Mount Sir Alexander: Success and Epic? It shows a map including part of the approach from the BC side. There's also a photo of Mt. Ida from the summit of Mt. Sir Alexander. But approaching Mt. Ida would be shorter from the Kakwa trail starting near Dead Horse Meadows, AB. Then take the Jarvis Lakes Trail at UTM 888 951 on map 93-I/1. Then follow the Edgegrain Creek. See Canadian Alpine Journal 1955, p.24. SP member Laverna and I will be attempting Mt. Ida in August 2012.