Southwest Face, II, 5.4

Page Type
Alberta, Canada, North America
Route Type:
Alpine II Rock
Time Required:
Most of a day

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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Southwest Face, II, 5.4
Created On: May 10, 2005
Last Edited On: Jul 30, 2006


Immediately gain a trail that ascends north of the hut to a creek and upper meadow (gorgeous area). 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 1000' to the col. (great view of the north face climb of Belanger)

Route Description

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 my 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. To avoid this mistake, simply go up and over the south ridge to the small corniced col.)

Proceed on a plateau until you are under 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!

Essential Gear

Carry crampons, rope, helmet and small rack. I used my crampons in a place I did not need to if I had ascended the route as described above. But you will not know what ice does or does not exist until you are on the climb. I never placed any gear except for the short belay of 2 climbers over the notch, which can be avoided if you climb right of the notch. Keep in mind my group was comfortable soloing up to 5.7.

Other Routes

The Selected Alpine Climbs book, link to the left, has one other route, the West Ridge Direct, Alpine III, 5.8. It looks pleasing and would definitely have less rock fall hazard. If anyone has done this route, pleases add it. Thanks.

Southwest Face, II, 5.4

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