American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Montana, Glacier National Park, North Face of Mt. Edwards, Ascent

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1999

North Face of Mt. Edwards, Ascent. Chris Trimble and I hiked in to an igloo constructed at Lower Snyder Lake late in the evening on April 2. At 7 a.m. the next morning, we were looking up at the north face of Mt. Edwards immediately above Upper Snyder Lake. The vertical gain from the lake to the summit is 3,500 feet, with the lower third being a rock band. Chris and I had climbed Baby Semmler on this wall previously, but our goal this trip was to continue on the upper two-thirds of the mountain to the summit.

We climbed Six Pack of Beer and Nothing to Do, a 1,400-foot WI4 done previously by Kalispell locals, reaching the top of this climb at 4 p.m. We slogged on to intersect the north ridge at around 7,700 feet. Despite the early hour, we elected to bivy here because of the pleasantness of the evening and the spectacular position of this bivy spot, surrounded by the peaks of Glacier National Park.

In the morning we continued for three hours of steep snowy climbing on the north ridge of Mt. Edwards with an occasional excavated rock move to the summit. We descended the east ridge toward Comeau Pass, then down the small ice climb below the pass between Mt. Edwards and the Little Matterhorn. Firm snow conditions at the time made this route safe, feasible, and enjoyable. The route (V WI4 5.8) is very good ice/alpine route, but is not recommended in summer or during periods of high avalanche danger.

Jim Earl

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