Last week I (Ross) wrapped up an excellent alpine blast far east of my Coastal town. First stop was the Bugaboos for 5 days of alpine rock with Cheryl from California (see previous blog), A lap of Mount Temple with Shannon from Vancouver and to finish off an ascent of Mount Assiniboine North Ridge with Lance from Calgary/UK. This was my first time up Mount Assiniboine, its been on my list for a long time. No matter where you are in the Rockies you can pick Mount Assiniboine out far in the distance looming high above all its adjacent peaks, coupled with the mystic and history the whole valley has it impossible to not want to climb it! Being the “Matterhorn of the Rockies” helps as the Matterhorn is one of my favorite peaks!
We set off on Sunday afternoon after a couple coffees in Canmore to get warmed up. A 1 hour drive to the heli pad set us off for a 5 minute flight to the spectacular Assiniboine lodge. From the Lodge you take the Gmoser highway up to the alpine bowl below the north ridge where the RC Hind hut sits. The Gmoser highway is really quite the endeavor on its own. The line weaves through an improbable cliff face linking narrow ledges perfectly through with nothing more than 4th class moves. Care is certainly required as the trail is very hard to see and if you where to get off route you would imminently be in very serious unprotectable terrain. 2:15 Assiniboine Lodge to Hind hut.
From the Hind hut on we set off early up the North ridge. The rock is honestly terrible for the lower part! lucky the climbing easy really nothing more than walking. Then come the crux grey and red bands, where again to avoid bad rock we carefully selected our line finding actually good steep climbing to fixed anchors.
Once your above the red bad you are about 60% complete and the good climbing really starts. Fun steep and exposed climbing takes you to the top. Like a champ tag the summit!! One of the best summits i have stood on in the Rockies.
The next day we descending back down the Gmoser highway and took the long walk back to the car. 32km in total!