Asperity Mountain, Southwest Face

North America, Canada, Coast Mountains
Author: Nick Elson, Canada. Climb Year: 2010. Publication Year: 2011.

On July 29, Tony McLane and I flew in to the Plummer Hut in the Waddington Range, and that afternoon we dropped to the Tiedemann Glacier and a bivy at Sunny Knob. The next morning, we negotiated the glacier below the southwest face of Asperity Mountain and mixed climbed past a bergschrund to gain a vague buttress near the center of the face. We climbed this for eight long pitches on generally excellent rock, culminating in a 60m offwidth in a corner that reared to slightly beyond vertical. This gained a lower-angled middle section, where we made fast progress up snow couloirs and low-5th-class rock. Eventually the face steepened again and we followed a ramp leftward to the Northwest Ridge route. A short bit of climbing in a beautiful position brought us to the summit. Southwest Face (950m, ED1 5.10+).

The descent from Asperity to the Tiedemann has a nasty reputation that we found well deserved. We descended the east face toward the col with Serra 5, first with slightly stressful downclimbing and then with some diagonal rappels around a serac once the ice slope became firm enough to make V-threads. We bivied at the col and the next morning set off down the couloir that drops toward the Tiedemann. We soon exited the couloir onto a chossy rib, where at least the majority of the rockfall was self-induced. A long rappel over a bergshrund brought us to a tedious traverse to the top of Carl’s Couloir. This proved relatively straightforward, although we still required a rope-stretching rappel over the bergschrund at the bottom. We then downclimbed exposed glacial ice to the Tiedemann Glacier and slogged back up to the comforts of the hut.

Share this article