Mt Victoria East Face

The South Summit is just to the right of the middle of the picture, click to enlarge for our route

With so much snow in the hills it’s tough to put down the torch, when I got the call that a strong posse was eyeing up Mt Victoria I nervously agreed to meet in Lake Louise early the next morning.

My first gig ski patrolling was at Lake Louise ski resort a number of years back where I got my first taste of the Rockies. I was keen to get out on my days off and ski many of the lines on distant peaks I could see from the ski resort.  Staring at Mt Victoria knowing people skied off it’s paired summits, left me a little bit in awe of the iconic mountain that may be one of the most photographed peaks in Canada if not the world.

Saturday morning after a less than ideal sleep I rolled out of bed at a very early 1:30 AM, kissed my pregnant wife as she looked content to sleep another 7 hours, brewed a coffee and had a light breakfast that I guess technically was more like a midnight snack.  Pulling into the parking lot I met the rest of the team Ian, Jeff and Silas.  We walked around the lake shore trail by headlamp, joking that usually there are hundreds of people milling about on a Saturday outside the Chateau. Continue reading

Mt Victoria -South Summit

Reiner and I took advantage of a few days off I had and made a go at the SE ridge of Mt Victoria. The route is a classic Rockies mountaineering objective and standing at 11,365ft it’s East face looms above Lake Louise, because of this it’s viewed through more camera lenses than perhaps any other peak in Canada.

After a short bus fiasco we were on our way to the Ohara valley on the only motorised access in. With our anorexic overnight packs shouldered we put our heads down and got to the Abbot Pass hut quickly.  The idea was to  spend as little time as possible in the scree bowling alley up to the Col. Dinner and sleep ensued shortly after arriving in preparation for our 6 am start, as it was an onsight effort for both of us neither Reiner or I felt like climbing much of the route in the dark.

The route was a mix of steep snow, easy rockclimbing and steep exposed ridge walking.  Moving ropeless and finding well setup snowy conditions we made fast progress and arrived at the South Summit in abit over 3 hours.  Another hour and a half down and we were shnoozing in the empty(quiet) hut before packing up and heading down to sniff out a coffee and pastry from the cafe at the bus-stop.

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