Approach went smooth...got a leisurely 9am start from the fireside trailhead. Solod the first bit of the route, then simulclimbed all the way to the rappel. We then did a couple harder variations heading directly up the rib after the short left traverse immediately following the rappel. We then realized we needed to be to the left of the large gully and made a short 10 foot rappel and crossed over, and finished on the original pitch, since I didn't want to wait on the right hand variation for two more parties already there.
Rappels went smooth once we found the first one and made it back to the main trail just as it got dark. Super fun route on mainly good rock!
We royally botched the approach (awesome start to an already long day) by following the trail up and over Edith Pass instead of turning off for Mount Loius when we should have, wasting a couple of hours and getting absolutely drenched by wet plants on the overgrown trail in the process (heavy rain the night before).
We soloed most of the lower part of the Kain Route, with me whining for a belay from Dom in a spot or two. The climbing was easy but the rock quality freaked me out at times. After the rappel Dom led most of the upper pitches and we soloed a couple of the easier bits.
After reaching the summit at about 4pm the 10 rappels went quickly. The rest of the descent, however, did not. My bad knee was very angry and I perfected my speed limping techniques on the way back to the trailhead. Even so, we managed in just over 16 hours.
Made about a dozen rock solos of repeats these last two summers and this is was of them...uneventful...but amazing how crowded this side of the mountain can get with guide exams, etc.
Had an awesome day with Andy Meyers on the normal route (Kain route) ending with the two pitch Perren variation.
After spending way longer on a grade III then either of ever had on the NF of Athtbasca, Bill Nootens and I decided to tackle the Gmoser route. We figured a rock route would be pretty straightforward, and it wouldn't take us nearly as long.
Beautiful views the whole way, but colder than we expected--we wore our jackets much of the day. Starting the climb I was appalled by the apparent lack of gear on the lower pitches, but eventually something would appear just as I was getting really stressed over the 50-60' runouts on the easy slabs. Fortunately, someone (local guides?) has installed brand new ring bolt belay stations on the lower route, which was a definite time-saver, as well as providing a welcome psychological break.
Bill lead the crux 5.8 pitch, which protected well, though he wasn't so sure about that when he was contemplating the difficult-to-reverse step back into the corner. As California climbers used to granite, we're still getting used to limestone climbing. Holds and gear placements seem to appear in the wierdest places. It's all there, but we had to do some searching.
Above the crux you still have a long way to go. Route finding becomes an issue, as there are several gullies and aretes to cross before you get to the final arete that leads to the summit block. We got off route a couple of times. That definitely has the potential to make things harder. We spent at least an extra hour on route finding snafus.
We found that the rock was generally solid, though it got looser on the upper half. The rope snagged a big block as Bill pulled up slack at the top of the pitch that traverses out of the big corner above the crux pitch. I got a thrill watching some pretty big stuff bounce its way towards my belay. Fortunately the biggest pieces broke up, and none of it hit me.
The Perren crack felt hard, but it was late and we were both getting tired. There is defitely some real exposure there. We finished after about nine hours of climbing. The descent was pretty straightforward, if rather long. There are bolted rap stations all the way. All but one are set up for 60m ropes. The rap after you traverse up to a notch is about 50m, and there is no intermediate station. But by the time you reach the end of the rope the terrain is downclimbable (with care), and you easily reach the next station. Nine raps in all, if my memory is correct. The walk down into the valley between Louis and Edith is steep and loose.
Pedro Espina and I hiked in to Mt. Louis on the same day that we came down from the Castle Mountain hut. We camped in the meadow between Louis and Edith. Early the next morning, we traversed down and around to where we thought the Kain route started and we soloed several hundred feet up to the trees. At the first 5.4 groove, we roped up, and simulclimbed much of the route up to the point where you have to do a rappel. The route-finding was the main thing that slowed us down. It's such a big mountain and if you don't pay attention you could go anywhere. The climbing seems about the same difficulty no matter where you go, but you don't want to get off-route because you could find yourself in a dead end or something. After the rappel, the climbing was a little harder and more exposed up to the huge ledge. Those last 2 pitches of 5.7 were fantastic and worth the effort to get up there. Then it's a few hundred more feet of scrambling to the summit. When we got there, the steel cross started humming so loud that we thought a lightning strike was imminent. I've never heard anything like that in my life, and I don't think I've ever been more terrified. We hid as low as we could go and sat on our ropes, but the lightning never came and the humming stopped. The clouds were dark and swirling, but it only sprinkled. Then we ran up and over the summit and rapped down the back side. Definitely the best route I've done in Canada so far.
This is about 15 pitches, several are fast, and several are slow. The Gmoser Route is an Alpine III- 5.8 and a lot slower than the Kain Route. We had to set our own stations early on this route, including pitons once. >It was a super day, no other climbers on the mountain (even though it was a Saturday). Great views of Edith and Cory all the way up and then Fiji, Assiniboine, Temple and the Vermillion range. We down climbed versus counting on some rough belay stations for several pitches down and faced one 60 meter lower section. This route is slightly west of the Gmoser. Once on the col, scramble 1000' down back to the trail.
The Crazy boys from Down Under finally came good (check summit log). Mind blowing for a lad who grew up with the misconception that 200m hills were 'mountains'. A big day out and my first (near fatal) attempt at glissading in brooks sport sandals
10 hours climbing and returing to the car park after dark.. We solved the age old proverb of whether bears shit in the woods. Fortunately no encounters with our furry friends, just big exposure and fond memories. The summit crack was superb as were the kokanees in a Banff bar later that evening...
Kain gave us yet another brilliant day in the rockies, and the Perren crack on the summit block was a treat.
Gmoser, wasn't so friendly.. we indeed had an epic. The day was marked by regular limestone bombings from a party on the Kain route, a rope got cut by rockfall during the descent and we slept (perhaps sleep is a strong word) on the col for the night.
both quite memorable!