Southwest Face, II

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British Columbia, Canada, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
One to two days

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Southwest Face, II
Created On: Aug 14, 2007
Last Edited On: Mar 23, 2013


Mount Victoria

This is a 6200’+/- ascent trip when combining a Mount Huber ascent with Mount Victoria’s southwest face ascent. If your goal is bagging 11,000er’s of the Canadian Rockies, I recommend bagging the trio of Mount Victoria, Mount Lefroy and Mount Huber on the same trip. None of these objectives require much technical difficulty and are considered somewhat “tourist” climbs from a local perspective (thus why I just now got around to them). That being said, they offer enough excitement and views to make the trip worthwhile for even the most seasoned veteran climber. If you are going to summit Mount Victoria via its southwest face, you ought to take the opportunity to ascend Mount Huber’s northeast ridge or northeast face via the Huber Ledges approach.
Mount Victoria

From the warden’s cabin, circle around Lake O’Hara to the north (left) and gain the Huber Ledges Alpine Trail. Ascend a well trodden trail to the Wiwaxy col and from there continue NE as you break through the steep ledges above the col on Mount Huber’s southwestern shoulder. You are looking for a poorly cairned southeast facing gully that requires little hands on climbing. Once you get high enough on the ledges, the cairns become more abundant. Circumvent Mount Huber’s lower flank to the northwest until the trail runs into the Mount Huber’s north glacier at an attractive bivy spot.

Route Description

Cross the first ice on easy terrain to a rib of large scree. Ascend this rock and gain the main north glacier. Circumvent the northwest ice slopes of Mount Huber. Ascend Huber via the NE ridge or NE face and then descend to the bergshrund between Mount Victoria and Mount Huber (photo).

Cross the ever growing bergshrund to the far left where it might still be closed (2007) or far right via a snow bridge (2007). Once you gain the other side, you are now officially on Mount Victoria’s lower western flank. Aim back center above the bergshrund for a solid piece of rock that lies on the left side of an ice gully (photo). There is a bolted rappel station on this wall. Circumvent it to the right as it bends left into an ice/scree gully. Ascend onto the ice to your left to gain a scree ledge with another rappel station. Turn right and ascend the easy scree gully to Mount Victoria’s southeast ridge proper. Turn left and ascend the ridge to the south summit, approximately 20-30 minutes away. All of the ice up Mount Victoria’s south west face offers easy angled ice climbing with little if any technical rock.

Return the same or traverse to the north summit and drop down to Lake Louise (III) or descend the southeast ridge (II) and drop down to the Abbot Hut/Pass and look to do Mount Lefroy the next morning or descend back to Lake O’Hara from there.

Essential Gear

Crampons, 4-6 ice screws (runners to go with), 1-2 pickets, Alpine Ax, Ice Tool, Crevasse Self Extraction Gear, 60m Alpine Rope, Helmet, Mountaineering Boots, Gaiters, Headlamp. The Abbot Hut is fully equipped. Take your bag and food and you will be set.

External Links

Southwest Face, II

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