American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Ontario, Rocky Mountains of Canada, An Approach to Habel Creek and Mt. Alberta form the Sunwapta Valley

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 1939

An Approach to Habel Creek and Mt. Alberta from the Sunwapta Valley. August, 1938. E. R. Gibson, B. Gilman, H. S. Hall, Jr. From the Jasper-Lake Louise road between mileposts 57 and 58 (5200 ft. ; directly E. of Mt. Woolley, and where letter S of Sunwapta occurs on Interprovincial Sheet 22). The small channels of the Sunwapta on the flats are easily forded, and the route begins up the S. side of a creek coming in from the W., its conspicuous gravel-canyon seen from the road. Easy going on old game trail except when crossing huge morainal boulders of a glacier coming in from the S. and completely blocking the creek valley. Thence up easy glacier E. of Mt. Woolley, turning W. and after a steep scree slope attain col (9300 ft.) about a mile and a quarter S. of Mt. Woolley. This is probably the point reached by Habel from the W. in August, 1901 (App. x, 40). The impressive E. face of Mt. Alberta, visible from this point, towers 3000 ft. above. Descending to glacier and rounding Little Alberta on its N. side, the ice tongue between it and Mt. Alberta was followed to meadows at tree-line (6900 ft.) above cliffs falling to Habel Creek (9.5 hours from motor road).

Showers prevented climbing next morning, but on the second day the scree slopes and gullies at the S. W. end of Mt. Alberta were ascended to about 10,200 ft. and ledges traversed to the base of the very steep black band (10,500 ft.) where the actual climbing begins (4.5 hours to this point). Clouds shut down and the ascent was given up, return to the Sunwapta being made by the same route.

[The accessibility of the head of Habel Creek from the Sunwapta is of importance to climbers, obviating the longer complicated approach by way of the W. Athabaska. A properly placed hut would facilitate all ascents in the great cirque extending from Mt. Alberta to N. Twin.—Ed.]

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