Saturday, October 11, 2014

Technical Peaks In Alberta's South West

The Southern Alberta Alpine Club is mid-way through a project to identify the technical peaks south of the Oldman River and north of the U.S. border.  (Mountains adjacent to Waterton & Cameron lakes are, however, included.)

The definition we're using for technical peaks appears similar to that used by the Glacier Mountaineering Society: the easiest route to the summit has a minimum difficulty of one pitch (~35+ m) and either a very dramatic, imposing summit, or sustained 3rd class/4th class difficulties.

Currently, our list of Southern Alberta technical peaks include:

  1. The Elevators
    • 5th class
    • FA = ?
    • couple of pitches of 5.6
    • FA = Bruno Engler, Fritz Frei, 1951
  2. Citadel spire
    • 2 pitches of 5.7
    • FA = = Jim Kanzler, Jerry Kanzler Ray Martin, Clare Pogreba, 1967
  3. (Windsor's) Castle
    • 1 pitch of 5.6
    • FRA = Greg Hooge & Martin Krippl mid-to-late 1980’s
    • 1-2 pitches of ~5.4
    • FRA = David & Ron Goble late 1960's
  4. Michewabum
    • 1-2 pitches of 4th class
    • FA = Charles Fisher, Hal Kanzler, Thomas Sweeny, 1962
    • 40m of 4th class
    • FA = boundary commission 1896 (unlikely) or 1914 boundary commission
  5. Mt. Darrah
    • one pitch of 4th class chimney
    • FA = 1914 boundary Commission
    • 20m 4th class crux, exposed summit
    • FA = ?? boundary commission ?? ?? 1896 ??
    • 1 pitch of exposed 4th class, lots of 3rd class, exposed summit
    • FA = ?
??? Ptolemy ???

  • uncertain difficulty via easiest route
  • exposed 4th class slab on standard route
  • FA = 1914 Boundary Commission

??? Parrish ???

  • uncertain difficulty via easiest route
  • exposed 4th class slab on standard route
  • FA = ?

??? King Edward ???

  • uncertain difficulties via easiest route
  • FA = ?

Technical ratings are based on the easiest possible route, not by the "normal" route. Feedback with extra details and history is most definitely welcomed.


At 10/19/2014 11:04:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Chris I think GMS considers Miche Wabun a scramble and that groups have done it as a day trip from Goat Haunt (perhaps doing Goat Haunt the same day and following the ridge over). Not 100% sure though. Maybe KenM. could confirm.

At 10/19/2014 12:33:00 PM , Blogger chris goble said...

I haven't been up there, and the only info I have is from two ascents of people I know well and who are very solid in the mountains. One attempt was from the Boswell/ Crypt ridge line. THe other ascent was from Michewabum lake. That means the south side (from Goathaunt) doesn't have any direct confirmation except from the Edward's book (not sure how solid those descriptions are as they understate the difficulties on the north side pretty significantly). Your comment about the Goat Haunt side is helpful.

I was trying to get up there this year to run the ridge from Goat Hunt over to Boswell - but didn't have an opportunity .

From Goat Haunt, the ridge length isn't bad. Good to know they've reported on that trip.

Looks like there are a number of local mountains whose easiest line of difficulty is uncertain. I've also been finding that the FA info on many peaks is unknown or incorrect….

At 11/24/2014 07:32:00 PM , Blogger Clark Goble said...

Why did you take Custer off? Because of the problems with the border? You were only 9 when we climbed it, weren't you?

Honestly I'd love to climb that one again although with the silliness with border patrol who knows if it'll be possible again.

At 11/24/2014 10:27:00 PM , Blogger chris goble said...

I took it off because from Boulder pass it is only class 3 all the way to the top. I thought the summit pyramid was quite hard (I stayed there with Francis), but I guess it wasn't. So it doesn't meet the minimum criteria...


At 9/01/2015 06:05:00 PM , Anonymous Mark Kadijk said...

Hi Chris,
Wondering if you've done Darrah, and if you are aware of any trip reports. I have a trip report from a friend who peaked it this summer, but would be interested in knowing what you've come across. Thanks!

At 5/11/2017 10:53:00 AM , Anonymous Troy said...

Font is definitely NOT a technical ascent. Straight forward hike to the top.

At 10/30/2018 08:06:00 AM , Blogger Admin said...

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