Mt MacDonald- The guardian of Mr Roger’s pass

Well Major A. B. Rogers must have had a hell of a time navigating around Mt Macdonald when he was commissioned by the Canadian Pacific Railway to find a route through the Selkirks.  Mount Macdonald would have been the last major obstacle in getting over the pass proper as he travelled along the long west ridge and gigantic, ominous North face.  It proved to be such an obstacle that the CPR would opt to tunnel 8 km through Mt Mac just to avoid the steep rugged, avalanche prone face.

With the very same N face looming overhead Jeff and I headed up towards the Herdman couloir then dogged east to the base of the W face.  We started with a sporty creek crossing and along the way we found enough devils club, slide alder, mosquitos and rhododendron to make ol’ Roger’s proud.  We’d laugh later about my comment “I bet we’ll find a trail on the way down”.

The climbing was fun, blocky quartzite with plenty of options to keep the climbing within reason for mountaineering boots.  A series of ridges and ledges brought us to the W ridge proper, where we slogged through the talus and scree to the true summit, in time to high five and start the long walk down.  A few bumps on the ridge and alot of downclimbing later we reached the top of the Herdman couloir, slung a horn, tossed the rope out and rapped.  One rappel lead to down climbing then fun boot skiing to more boot skiing and a path that looked alot like a trail….  All that was left was crossing the Cannaught creek and the last lesson of the day, that the water level on mountain streams comes WAY up in the evening.  With the last crux of the day behind us we breathed a sigh of relief and Jeff reached into his pocket for his Iphone…..  which was….. not working due to a full minute of submersion.   The last sting in the tail that would have made Major Rogers smirk, I’m sure.

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3 Responses

  1. Excellent…………… 🙂

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