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North America, Canada, British Columbia, Mount Tsar, East Ridge, Canadian Rockies

Mount Tsar, East Ridge, Canadian Rockies. Steve Sheriff and I climbed this classic ice, snow and rock ridge on August 3 and 4. Once one of the most remote peaks in the Canadian Rockies, Tsar is now easily accessible via logging roads which follow Sullivan Creek from Kinbasket Lake. The approach from our vehicle to a high camp just below the ice took two hours. Ironically, Tsar now has one of the shortest approaches of the major Rockies peaks. Our line followed the easiest route up the ridge, occasionally diverging onto both the north and southeast faces (V, 5.9). We found ourselves in an intense lightning storm a few pitches from the top and watched strikes ignite four separate forest fires as darkness came on. Unable to cross over the top because of lightning strikes, we bivouacked on an exposed ridge and summited the next morning. We down-climbed the standard north ridge-face route, which is complicated and took most of the day to descend. It took us to the foot of the mountain far from our vehicle.

Gray Thompson