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CAN Rockies Advice

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 12:21 am
by sshankle
Another question in preparing for my first trip up (mid-July).

I had planned on the President / Vice Pres. via the President glacier being my prime objective, using MacAurther, Kerr, etc. as other options while in there a few days. Unfortunately, the hut is booked all week... :(

Any suggestions for similar alternatives? Right now we have reservations in the climbers hostel in Canmore. I'd consider my mountaineering skills as "intermediate" and will have a couple guys with me who have a little experience too. I'm considering:

- Daytrip to Hector from Canmore
- President Glacier in a day???
- Athabasca N. Glacier daytrip from ...?
- A2 as above.

Or should I just try to reserve the Bow Hut? Are the peaks in there worthwhile?

Thanks for any advice!


PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:00 am
by attimount
Hi Scott,
From my experiance I can sugest to you:
- Mount Hector (from Canmore), glacier, beautiful mountains around and an amazing view from the summit. In the way down you can take the ridge (scrambling) to Little Hector and then down to Hwy 93, this way you can avoid some of the glacier travel.We did this trip in about 12 hours.
- Mount Athabasca, Silverhorn Route, or normal route, glacier, stuning views of Columbia Icefield and the sea of peaks around. We did Silverhorn in about 8 hours. If the weather is not so good you can go hiking to Mount Wilkox (moderate scrambling).
- Mount Victoria South from Abbot Hut, lovely place, or even LeFroy if is still in shape.
- Mount Victoria North from Lake Luise (full day trip), if wheater bad just go up St Piran (easy).
Around Canmore there are many peaks to hike/scramble, Big Sister, Grotto, Fable, Ha Ling, Lady McDonald, and Kananaskis Country is just 0.30-1.00 hours away with lots of beautiful peaks and trails.
Wish you good weather, Attila.

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:17 am
by Dow Williams
My wife and I prefer to camp back there vs using the hut, but to each his own. That is a great area, hate to see you miss out on it.

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:21 am
by sshankle
Thanks Attila!

Dow, would bivy sacks be adequate for camping in there, or would we need a tent? I was hoping to hut it to minimize on what I'd have to fly up there with. I've never camped in griz country... Thanks for you help and advice.


PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 3:06 am
by Dow Williams
yes, bivys would be fine...the campground is just west of the hut, pretty busy place, common hiker campground due to the popularity of the Iceline Trail. Grizzly's are just a fact of life whether you use a hut or not. Most active during the day like we are. I have zero fear of bears, I think if I did, I might not get much of the remote climbing done that I do. Never thought about bears once at this campground. This is not California. We don't have problem bears for the most part. We don't have overcrowding, tourists leaving food at their camps, etc. Backcountry camping at this site would be far safer than some roadside camp in California locations. I would not miss this planed climb and alternative scramble schedule you have lined up. Yoho is phenomenal. Bag both peaks, take you 20 minutes to summit V. Pres. Skinny dip in the small Kiwetinok Lake. Have dinner at the Truffle Pig in Field as a reward and have a beer in Canmore with me afterwards and share your exploits. Good Luck!

PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 12:45 am
by sshankle
Great advice Dow and others! Thanks so much! We're set to tent camp in Little Yoho, and hopefully rent a tent from Gear Up (park service told us we had to have a tent...).

Any recommendations for things I should research for back-up climbing plans (quick and easy day climbs)? Or other recommendations (pubs, etc.).

Right now I'm thinking:
Main Objective - Pres / VP & Hector
Backups - A2 or Athabasca N. Glacier
Next Backups - Victoria NE Ridge, Stanley maybe, ???

Dow, I'd love to buy you a beer (or 3)... PM me a phone # and I'll text you when we're there (less intrusive than a call if you're busy), or I could PM you from there.

PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 1:09 am
by Dow Williams
Don't ascend Athabasca N. Glacier, ascend Silverhorn and descend via N. Glacier. There is potential for ice fall on N. Glacier and ascending puts you in harms way much longer than the descent. Sliverhorn is just a bit more technical, but you should enjoy that aspect of it, makes it feel more like a climb vs hike.

The Victoria southeast ridge ascent via Abbott Hut and descent via the southwest face and down through the Huber ledges is the best trip on Victoria, by far. True alpine experience vs coming from Lake Louise.

Victoria and Stanley are both good options. The Yoho area you are currently targeting as well as the Abbott Hut (Victoria summit) via Lake O'Hara are two spectacular settings you will enjoy immensely I think.

I can loan you a tent if you need it. Just pm me through here. Peruse my alpine page suggested routes and same for myscramble page for other day objectives. Good pubs in Canmore and Banff are too many to mention, but the climber hang out in Canmore, where to catch me on my days off sipping coffee out on the patio shooting the shit, is the Summit Cafe. The local brewery, Grizzly Paw, has been around a bit, and although crowded with tourists at times, still offers good homemade brew. The Flatbread Co specializes in free range Canadian meats and organic produce and has an open air bar on sunny days. Top notch establishment.

Look forward to seeing you in Canmore. Cheers.

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 4:14 am
by Fury
Dow is right about the Little Yoho Valley. It's a beautiful place to camp.

You mentioned the Bow Hut. I really enjoyed the Wapta Icefields when I was up there. The peaks are not technical, mostly snow slopes and very mellow ridges.

If you want to brave Banff Avenue, I would recommend the Grizzly's a steak and cheese fondue restaurant that is delicous. Great selection of beer at the St. James' Gate Pub too. Dow is the expert on food and drink in Canmore!

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 6:49 pm
by dskoon
Damn, now I've got a hankering for those Rockies! Thanks guys. . .

PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:15 pm
by Grampahawk
Me and a friend are heading in on July 24-30. We plan to do Forbes first and then Athabasca on the way out. We could be persuaded to do any other mountain as a second though. Dave didn't make Forbes last time so that's on his primary list. Give me a pm if you are interested in joining us