American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson, First Attempted Solo Ascent of North Face, Second Solo Ascent of Kain Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1975

Mount Robson, First Attempted Solo Ascent of North Face, Second Solo Ascent of Kain Face. On August 8 I climbed from Berg Lake via the rock between the Mist and Tumbling Glaciers to a tent placed previously with the help of friends underneath the north face. The next morning at three A.M. I started climbing the face in unsettled windy weather. The wind speed increased with every 145-foot pitch which was done by placing a snow fluke at each end and a short picket at mid-pitch in iced snow. At 8:20 A.M. after leading the seventh pitch I saw no change in the wind which would have prevented a complete ascent and began to return. One-third of the face was beneath me. I reached the schrund at the bottom of the face shortly after twelve having done 14 leads and 38 pitches. On August 10 I traversed the Helmut-Robson Col under cloudy skies with lighting so flat that the covered crevasses were barely discernible. I did three roped pitches, including one of water-ice, and the collapse of a snow bridge led to a fall into a schrund. The next morning at 3:20 A.M. I began without the rope climbing under the hanging glacier the water-ice of the Kain Face, which turned into iced snow higher up. Topping out about six, I proceeded to the summit which was reached at 7:30 A.M. in wintery, but calm weather. Returning to the bottom of the face about ten, I found myself in a white-out with my steps obliterated by a light snow. A brief clearing came about noon which allowed me to reach my bivouac on the Dome. On August 12 I returned to Berg Lake via the Robson Glacier.

Dean Smith

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.