AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, Canada, Canadian Rockies, Mt. Temple, East-Northeast Buttress; Squashed Bones

Mt. Temple, east-northeast buttress; Squashed Bones. This beautiful line ascends the buttress between the Aemmer Couloir and the Sphinx Face on the north side of Mt. Temple. It compares in quality with, and is only slightly more technical than, the classic East Ridge. Most of the technical pitches have amazing rock quality and are well protected. The route hits the upper East Ridge route below the Black Towers. The objective hazard is low and crampons and ice axe are not needed until the East Ridge is intersected. It is probably the first route on Temple’s north side to dry up in summer.

Traverse east from Lake Annette, staying low, moving past the start of the Greenwood- Jones and the Sphinx Face. Ascend to the col that marks the crest of the buttress between the Aemmer and the Sphinx. Start climbing (low fifth class) on the left side of the buttress, aiming for the right-leaning gully that situates you behind a prominent pinnacle. Eventually you reach a large ledge just to the right of the crest and below the start of the steeper climbing. Climb a 20-meter steep section to another large ledge. Move left on the ledge until a weakness in the headwall is found immediately right of the crest. (The overhanging face left of the crest is an obvious barrier.) Climb three and a half pitches, mostly 5.7 or 5.8, following obvious weaknesses on the right side of the crest. A fifth pitch (5.8), climbed on the crest proper, provides amazing exposure down the steep face on the left. A short sixth pitch on loose black rock gains fourth-class terrain that is best negotiated on the right side. Several short, steep sections lead to a final steep wall of horrendous rock. Climb easily left of the steep wall and gain the upper east ridge below the start of the Black Towers. Either follow the ridge to the summit or bypass the Black Towers by traversing the east face and gaining the popular East Ridge route. Take a set of nuts and cams up to three inches. No pitons were used, but a few may be useful for the Black Towers. We climbed the route on August 5 and rated the difficulty IV 5.8.

Rob Owens, Canada