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North America, Canada, British Columbia, Coast Mountains, Mt. Monarch, North Ridge, New Route

Mt. Monarch, North Ridge, New Route. From August 4-7, on my fifth attempt of the route (the first way back in 1983), Bill Durtler, Bruce Fairley, and I finally made the first ascent of the North Ridge of Mount Monarch (3573m), the “big” peak south of Bella Coola. The 900-meter route presents itself as a tower-studded rock ridge (and there are in fact several pitches in the 5.8-5.9 range), but the majority of the climbing was on steep ice and mixed ground on ramps and gullies weaving amongst the towers. Three days were spent reaching the summit, and a third bivy was made on the descent. En passant, we also climbed Monarch’s North Summit, at about 3250 meters likely the highest unclimbed subsidiary peak in the Coast Mountains.

Don Serl, Canada