On Friday, August 13, Michael Thompson and I took off for what was my
5th mountain summit in as many days, from the Fryatt Hut. Despite the
implication of "Friday the 13th", the trip turned out to be a spectacular day.
Cross Fryatt Creek from the hut and proceed southeast up a dry creek bed
which leads to the top of the Minnie Mouse ridge just below some rock
pinnacles. Descend the ridge into the first basin and continue south gaining
elevation at an angle, crossing some snow, to achieve the Minnie Mouse and
Lowell col. This is not the suggested route in the Selected Alpine book and
does involve more climbing then the scree route they suggest. Proceed
directly onto the south ridge and take on about two
pitches of 5.5 climbing. There are some old pitons, but we used no rope or
protection for the entire day. This climb was pleasant and landed us
expediently onto the more laid back south ridge which leads straight up to the
summit ridge which lies at a northeasterly angle.
The summit ridge was loads of fun, offering multiple routes. There were
some rappel stations, but we down climbed on descent. The ridge involves
moving left and/or right and up and over. We did not find it overly
complicated. The toughest section involves a chimney up the left side of a
steeper section. It is not your only choice however.
I took 3:20 to reach the summit, Michael was close behind. We enjoyed
reading a summit register that originated in 1960 and had us pegged as
approximately the 36th summit party. I also found a very old summit tin
several meters from the summit from the Harvard Mountaineering Club that I
brought down and gave to the Banff Museum.
Views were spectacular, Fryatt, Clemenceau and a close up of Brussels,
however, some smoke had moved in this day and Robson was not visible.
On descent, it was our intention to use the recommended ascent route via the
scree. However, we shot pass our exit and ended up traversing loose ledges
back over to the scree field. I recommend down climbing the complete ridge
back to the col as this route saves considerable loss in elevation that has to be
regained on the return to the hut.
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