Mount Edith Cavell -
East Ridge West Ridge, August 2009
With our two weeks in Western Canada coming to a close, there was just enough time for one last Rockies' classic before returning home. Named after a nurse who was executed by the Germans for helping allied solders escape from occupied Belgium to the Netherlands during World War I, Mount Edith Cavell is arguably the most popular and frequently climbed peak in Jasper National Park. Although the North Face has the honor of being included in Steck and Roper's book Fifty Classic Climbs of North America, the aesthetic (and moderate) East Ridge deservedly gets the most attention. Having previously glimpsed the hulking shale wall with its characteristic tilted bands of snow and ice seemingly emanating from the prominent East Ridge, the peak has long been an obvious must-do climb for me.
The Edith Cavell hostel is conveniently situated about a mile before the Cavell Meadows Trailhead. It's considered a "wilderness hostel", with limited creature comforts but the view of the peak's North Face sure is hard to ignore from the hostel grounds. In either case, we weren't as interested in a flush toilet and wifi access as we were for a good night's sleep the night before our East Ridge climb. Thanks to an orchestra of snores in the hostel bunkhouse, sleep was unfortunately in rather short supply that night and I cannot remember a more dreaded 4am wakeup call than the one on August 27, 2009. (more...)
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