American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Canadian Rockies, Climbs in Le Grand Brazeau and Peaks above Swan Lake

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1972

Climbs in Le Grand Brazeau and Peaks above “Swan Lake.” The “Swan Lake ” area, ten miles southeast of Maligne Lake near the headwaters of the Brazeau River’s north fork, previously reported on by Bill Putnam (A.A.J., 1971, 17:2, pp 386-7) was revisited the last week in July by a group led by Bill Putnam and Hans Gmoser. Members were Jack Cade, Frances Chappie, Günther Hintringer, Ed Johan, Rob Wallace, and the writer. We packed in from the Jasper-Banff highway along Poboktan Creek past Poligne Creek and up the next eastern tributary to the gravel flats just below Le Grand Brazeau. The next morning we ascended the 8600-foot col at the southeastern end of our unnamed valley, and from there split into two groups each to climb a peak to the north and south of the col. A small cairn near the summit of the southern peak indicated the presence of previous climbers. Returning to the col, we descended eastward to the valley of the lakes to camp at one of the southernmost. The following day a 9750-foot snowcapped peak just southeast of our camp was climbed via the north ridge. A simultaneous attempt via the west face or southwest ridge was fruitless. Camp was moved across the Brazeau River to a lovely stream which empties the pond through which “Swan Lake” drains. From this camp 9500-foot peaks at the northwestern and southwestern tips of a small upside-down U-shaped valley with mountains on three sides and a small lake at its open western end were climbed; the southwestern showed evidence of a previous visitation. The westernmost peak of the triple-topped center peak was climbed via its crumbly east ridge. The 10,200-foot central summit was attained via a scramble up loose scree. The eastern summit, some 50 feet higher, was gained by rappelling down to a notch and then ascending a rock slab. The easternmost peak of the next U-shaped valley to the south was also climbed, and the peak on the extreme east of Le Grand Brazeau was climbed almost to its summit. We departed from this beautiful area over the Mount Brazeau icefield and out the same valley and trails used on the way in.

DIETER H. VON HENNIG

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