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Columbia Icefield Ski Mountaineering · Fri. May. 13th - Mon. May. 16th
Warning: This is an old trip - it already happened
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Start: Friday, May. 13th
End: Monday, May. 16th
Pre-trip meeting: Monday, May. 2nd, 5:00 pm
Pre-trip meeting location: Zoom
(TRIP DATES MAY CHANGE DEPENDING ON WEATHER)
The Columbia Icefield is the biggest (and arguably most beautiful) icefield in the Rockies. It has 12 peaks over 11000ft guarding it's flanks, including the 2nd tallest in the range: Mt. Columbia (3747m).
Last May, I spent four days on the Columbia Icefield, and summitted both Stutfields, the North Twin, the Twins Tower, Kitchener, and Snow Dome. Now, I desperately want to go back to snag the West/South Twin and Mt. Columbia.
THE (TENTATIVE) PLAN:
Day 1: Ascend the Athabasca Glacier, set up camp at the Twins-Stutfield col.
Day 2: Ascend the West & South Twins, and perhaps the North Twin + Twins tower if time/energy permits.
Day 3: Traverse the icefield and go across the trench. Set up camp at the base of Mount Columbia.
Day 4: Summit Mount Columbia, then exit.
I would be open to adding a day to ski the Stutfields + Cromwell, depending on the interest of the group. I'm open to other modifications to the schedule as well.
1. Must have previous glacier travel experience, and be familiar/competent with crevasse rescue. The snowpack in the Rockies is a bit thin right now, so there's a very real possibility someone takes a plunge through a snow bridge while ascending the Athabasca glacier, or while on the Twins.
2. Must be reasonably fit. The icefield is very big. Multiple days will involve >1000m elevation gain with heavy packs. (The approach day will be ~18km w/ 1500m gain).
3. Must be a semi-competent skier. We're not going to be skiing anything particularly steep or technical, but this is still very big terrain.
I'll be in Calgary in May; if you're also in Calgary, I can drive you. Otherwise, it's a 10+ hour drive from Vancouver.
Weather is a major factor in determining when to go. I tentatively have the trip set for May 13th-16th, but we may need to move it forward or backward to line up with good weather. If you can't go then but can go some other time in May, feel free to reach out to me ([email protected]). I'm prepared to drop everything last minute to make this trip work.
A group of 3-4 people total is ideal, though if we have 6, we could go as two rope teams.