American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, British Columbia, Coast Mountains, Frontier Group, Various Climbs

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 2008

Frontier Group, various climbs. In the Frontier Group of the Waddington Range, Bob Hamilton, Billy Hood, Neil McGougan, Dave Ritchie, and we did several climbs, all except one of which (Bottleneck) we believe to be new. Our thanks to Don Serl and Simon Richardson for their generous advice.

Mt. Geddes, north face, Caledonia (550m, D+ 60° max, Kennedy-Rubens and McGougan-Ritchie, July 30). A fine mixed route, starting with an exposed rightward traverse well below the right-hand start of the Hourglass Face, ascending the slanting open couloir and snow arêtes right of the wide Hourglass Face couloir, and finishing directly to the main summit. Climbed in excellent snow/ice conditions. We rappelled the Hourglass Face in seven 60m raps.

Mt. Geddes, north face, Central Buttress (400m, TD- 65° max, Hamilton-Kennedy- Rubens, August 4). A good line on the rocky central buttress right of the Bottleneck Couloir. We crossed the bergschrund about 50m right of the foot of the Bottleneck Couloir and climbed steep snow, with short ice steps, to the top of the snow bay below a rock wall, moved up and right following the prominent snow ledges running across the buttress at around mid-height, and continued up the buttress. We finished just west of the central summit and rappelled the Hourglass Face.

Mt. Geddes, north face, Bottleneck Couloir (repeat). On August 4 McGougan and Ritchie attempted a steep snow-and-ice line slanting up left from about halfway up the Bottleneck Couloir, but retreated two pitches beyond the Bottleneck due to poor ice. They rappelled back into the Bottleneck Couloir and followed it to the top.

Mt. Haworth, South Ridge route (350m, 5.6, Hamilton-Hood, July 30). The rocky ridge starts from the col below the NE Ridge of Mt. Geddes. The initial section included a number of slabby rock pitches before the easier upper section. The route finished on the South Face route (which was used to descend) for the final bit to the summit.

Mt. Haworth, Whisky Galore (340m, 5.8, Hamilton-Kennedy, July 31). The most prominent line on the rocky southwest face, up a large right-facing corner that faces the glacier below the north face of Mt Geddes. Good rock quality, climbing corners and slabs to a knife-edge arete, then a steep, exposed wall, more slabs, and then the easier upper ridge to the summit. Descent by rappelling the route.

Polydactyl Ridge, East Pinnacle (ca 2,800m, GR 371029), East Ridge (120m, F, Hood- McGougan-Ritchie-Rubens, July 31). The eastmost and higher of the two rocky summits on the serrated east-west ridge. Access the peak via an easy scramble from a base camp under the west ridge of Mt. Haworth, on the north edge of the glacier north of Mt. Geddes. The adjacent west- most peak/pinnacle was climbed in 1964 by Culbert and Woodsworth.

Mam Beag (2,680m, GR 396031; for non-Gaelic speakers Mam Beag means “Small Breast”), SW Ridge (150m, F, Hamilton-Hood-Kennedy-McGougan-Ritchie-Rubens, August 1). The southeast ridge of Mt. Roovers culminates in a rounded snow dome (which we named Mam Beag) overlooking the Oval and Parallel glaciers. A nice snow arête led easily from the col between Roovers Glacier and Parallel Glacier (Propyleum Pass) up the southwest ridge to the summit.

Sgurr Hamilton (2,720m, GR 394034), SE Ridge (250m, AD 5.6, Hamilton-Kennedy- Rubens, August 1). The jagged southeast ridge of Mt. Roovers contains several rock pinnacles and towers, including the bulky Roovers Needle. Sgurr Hamilton, named in honor of the eldest member of our party, is the first prominent, pointed tower seen when approaching from Mam Beag. It is near the eastmost end of the ridge and to the east of Roovers Needle.

Umbra Ridge (Point 2,477m, GR 418018), West Buttress (300m, AD 5.6, Hood- McGougan-Ritchie, August 1). We gained this route by climbing snow slopes above Parallel Glacier to an obvious col between Point 2,477m and a subsidiary peak to the west. From the col climb the cleanest slabs keeping to the crest of the buttress. Probably the first ascent of this summit. Descend the same route.

Steve Kennedy and Des Rubens, U.K.

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