Thanks again to Mammut for facilitating this fantastic adventure.
Gery Unterasinger organized us: myself and five strong men from Calgary who call themselves the White Clothed Peaks. We set off in a great weather window to summit the highest peak in Alberta. Mt. Columbia at 3747m.
We started by meeting in Lake Louise at 6:30 am, which got us skiing by 10 am. After competing with the Brewster Ice buses at the Athabasca Glacier.
We were happy to connect with Mark Klassen who showed us a ‘safer’ way to traverse through the three icefalls of the glacier- one of the cruxes of the route.
The rest of the trip had a lot of flatish glacier slogging. Where you could watch your dog run away 😉 I was grateful when I pulled up and saw the digging of our campsite — which meant I could unload the beast that was on my back.
We were blessed with some amazing weather, which made for fantastic cooking conditions and lifestyle photos at dawn and dusk.
Unfortunately, there was some suffering. Ground meat surface around the feet, elephantitis around the face and one suspicious case of altitude sickness cause some vomitting:
This is an example of me ‘being comfortable’ winter camping in perfectly reasonable temperatures:
The greatest rewards from this trip include: being with some quality folks who were giving it their ALL! and the amazing vistas to the west and to the north.
I must say that I think the greatest joy of the trip, other than the fragrance of our clothes, was the relief felt when the ‘rental’ boots came off!
I am very proud of these guys for enduring the suffering of rental equipment and naivety, but they survived a very physically challenging adventure and received the rewards of amazing scenery and a job ‘well done’!
Today we went for a 5 pitch rock climb. Bolts, around 5.10 or 6a. Very fun outing. A little bit windy– good training for us to get to know each other and get into thinking about alpine climbing.
So after a day of getting to know each other and some rescue review… we are off to the mountains. Tomorrow we will hike into Piedre Negra and hope to climb Guillomet and Aguja Pollone in the next couple days….