Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Coronet Mountain - North West Ridge, Alpine II

Had a great trip with young Steven S. I only say young because he is less than half my age; impressive kid, loves mountains and is climbing them at an incredible rate of speed, but smart guy and not pushing his luck, seems a like solid guy to me.

Originally I had a crazy plan to day trip (24 hours +/-) Mt. Warren, but turns out we couldn’t do it.  The back up plan was Coronet Mountain, hopefully by the exciting North Glacier route (FA 1962 W. Pfisterer, but we couldn’t access the glacier since it was high above a vertical cliff with vertical ice walls, must have receded since 1962?  In the end we slogged up the North West Ridge (FA 1930 D. Sharpe on loose scree, then solid easy ridge, ending with a short, fun snow climb on the glacier between the two highest summits.

Summit of Coronet Mountain (3152m)
After a full day of work for me, we met in Calgary, drove up to Jasper and left the parking lot about 8 pm.  Good pace on the first 10 km of trail, but soon after we took to the bush to gain the small drainage east of Poligne Creek, we got hit with a light rain that soaked the bush. Once up the drainage, we escaped to the scree slopes on the far south end of Coronet Mountain.  Travel was a bit slow, not too bad, but around 1am we decided to call it quits before we reached the col on the north end of Coronet.  Had hoped to at least reach the alpine tarn at this col, but we were about 1 km short. 


Slept about 4 hours, decided to try the North Glacier on Coronet, but the glacier was too difficult to access.  Long slog up the North-West Ridge, but fun snow climb to main summit from sub-summit. Lots of exposed ice and a few cracks were visible, but all probing showed solid ice where we wanted it. Fun summit  (3152m) with great views to many 11,000’ers, Mt. Alberta stole the show of course. Quick plod down and back down creek.  Made the car 24 hours after leaving, long drive home and tried at work the next day. Got to love coffee!

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