Mount Athabasca - Silverhorn, August 2006
The day following our climb of Mount Sir Donald, Eric and I proceeded to Lake Louise and a decision making point - head south for Assiniboine or north for Athabasca? Reports indicated that Assiniboine's classic North Ridge was plastered in snow from a storm a week or two prior and so we decided to stick to snow/ice routes (rather than snowy rock routes) - off to Athabasca then!
I highly recommend driving the Icefields Parkway even if just touring around in an RV. With tantalizing glimpses of the Wapta Icefields beyond Bow Lake, then north through historic Saskatchewan Crossing and reaching the scenic climax with Mt. Athabasca and an adjacent lobe of the Columbia Icefield flowing from a depression between Mount Andromeda and Snow Dome, there is plenty to feast your eyes on! The forecast called for 60% POP and so we didn't have high hopes for the following morning. We got a bit carried away that night, drank one too many and awoke late and groggy to a perfect blue bird day. Crap! With heads throbbing, we packed up and raced over to the climber's parking area just off the Snowcoach road. Practically running up the moraine we quickly roped up and made good progress up the glacier, encountering two parties retreating due to evidence of serac collapse from a couple days prior. The objective hazard seemed no worse than the Adams Glacier, the C-D on Baker, or the D-C on Rainier...to each his (or her) own I suppose. (more...)
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