The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

Friday, 10 June 2011

A Canadian summer trip

Very inspired to get back out to Canada, but this time in the summer.
September can be a great time & a trip climbing Mt Assiniboine, as well as to explore part of the Bugaboo Range & then some rock climbing in the Bow Valley would be awesome.
Mt Assiniboine 3,618m is in the Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park which is sandwiched between the Banff & Kootenay National Parks in the Canadian Rockies.
Mt Assiniboine is THE Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies with its pyramidal shape & steep technical ridges, but having the added beauty of being totally away from all the crowds and in a wild & remote setting.

This photo from Barry Blanchard shows the North ridge, NE & NW faces of Mt Assiniboine seen when looking south from Mt Assiniboine Lodge.
It’s here from Mt Assiniboine Lodge close to the shores of Lake Magog that you get some of the most spectacular views of this beautiful mountain.
Access into Mt Assiniboine Lodge is long, as it is when tacking any route on this mountain, so climbers usually fly in making the most of the good weather spells.
Mt Assiniboine Lodge (2,225m) is an historic Norwegian Style Lodge which sleeps 30 people in rustic rooms & 6 cabins with great hosts serving up its famous delicious gourmet food.
From Mt Assiniboine Lodge, it’s still a good half day walk & scramble into the high mountain RC Hind Hut situated conveniently on the flanks of the NW face providing great access to many of the routes.
The RC Hind Hut at about 2,690m sleeps 15 people
From the RC Hind Hut you can climb the long 900m North Ridge which just looks fantastic. 

Pigeon Peak

The Bugaboo Glacier Provincial Park, is a very isolated & spectacular range of rugged granite spires & glaciers in the Purcell Mountains of BC Canada

The Palliser Expedition in 1857 – 1860 first traversed the area and named it after their expedition sponsor Goodwin Purcell. In 1969, Bugaboo Glacier Provincial Park and the Bugaboo Alpine Recreation Area were set aside to preserve and protect this outstanding area of the Purcells. Now climbers from all over the world come to climb these amazing granite spires.

Pigeon Peak (3,150m) is one of these rugged granite towers & the super classic West ridge is a one of the best routes of its grade in North America, climbing immaculate granite, on a knife edge at times to a beautiful summit & inspiring views

The West Ridge of Pigeon Peak

This very isolated range of rugged granite towers & glaciers is actually only a 3hr drive from Banff & then a 3hr walk into the Conrad Kain Hut (2,230m) which gives great access to Pigeon Peak as well as many of the other routes & peaks here.
Castle Mountain in the Bow Valley was named back in 1858 by James Hector for its castle like or fortress appearance and is the obvious mountain seen as you drive between Banff & Lake Louise.
Castle Mountain is situated in more of a pre-alpine setting with easy access from the valley floor devoid of glaciers where it will make the perfect change from spending time in the mountains & will be a great culmination to the 2 week trip - the rock climbing looks fantastic.

It just looks fantastic in summer.


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