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North America, Canada, British Columbia, Rearguard North Face

Rearguard North Face. Although Rearguard, Robson’s 9,000-foot subsidiary peak, is normally a very easy climb, its imposing northern rock face, towering 3,500 feet above the valley, had never been conquered. A steep northerly snow couloir had previously been scaled, but the rock wall still presented a challenge. Ellis Blade and Joan Crosby of the Alpine Club of Canada, Mike Shor of New York City, and I crossed the icy stream channels opposite the Alpine Club of Canada’s camp early on the morning of August 5 and scrambled up the 1,500 feet of brush and talus slopes below the final 2,000-foot rock face. This we attacked to the right or west of the snow couloir and found the climbing a combination of moderately difficult and fourth-class terrain, long, exposed and thoroughly pleasant. Route finding was a bit tricky, and the rock was often quite loose. However, if we had not chosen the right route, the difficulties would have been greatly increased. We had to scale several cliffs and terrace bands. With the Alpine Club Camp almost at our feet and the North Face of Mt. Robson close at hand, in the perfect weather and on the interesting rock it was a stimulating experience. In my opinion this tour constitutes a fine but not easy training climb for the longer rock climbs.

Don Claunch