Route Synopsis – Mt. Alexandra

·        All information is relevant to having a camp at an elevation of 2015m / 6700’ adjacent to South Rice Brook just West of the three lakes situated at the head of  South Rice Brook valley. Refer to Maps 82N/14 and 83C/3. UTM  location is 586833. Information sources – Guides and Leaders 1998 GMC


Ψ               Mt. Alexandra (3381mtr)    UTM – 866589

FA – August 1902, J. Outram, C. Kaufmann

v     Route – N. From base camp, cross S. Rice Brook (2 arms) and up scree slope E. of creek. Scree to rock bands, following weaknesses to the climbers right, follow waterfall, work right through rockbands. After rockbands follow lateral moraine up to creek, a gain of 1200’. One 5.2 pitch up and left, scramble 100’, then traverse ledges under Coral Pk. to W. toe of Alexandra Glacier. Wind, working right and and then left through badly crevassed broken section until it flattens out. E. across easily travelled glacier. Ascend to Alexandra-Whiterose col, use snow gulley as far as possible, work left through rocky ledges. Climb on the left margin until it chokes off, traverse left up steep snow and ice to summit.

ό      Party Size – Four

ό      Equipment Required – abalakov’s necessary, 4-6 ice screws, long slings, helmet, ice axe,  Crampons, harness

ό      Length of Trip – 6-7 hours up/ 4-5 hours down

ό      Highlights – highest peak in  the area, nice scrambling quick descent


Ψ         Mt. Coral (2930m) UTM - 843595

FA –  July 1998, J Gudjonson, B Stirling  

v           Route – N. From base camp, cross S. Rice Brook (2 arms) and up scree slope E. of creek. Scree to rock bands, following weaknesses to the climbers right, follow waterfall, work right through rockbands. After rockbands follow lateral moraine up to creek,a gain of 1200’. One 5.2 pitch up and left, scramble 100’, then traverse ledges toe of Alexandra Glacier. Wind, working right and and then left through badly crevassed broken section until it flattens out. Head N. Towards Fresnoy, eventually bending E. towards Coral/ Fresnoy col. S. Across small Bergschund, ascend 50 degree slope up to summit ridge. Descent – N. Along ridge, descend ramps to Fresnoy-Coral col. Drop immediately over bergschrund and onto main glacier. Descend and traverse until you are near the NW margin ofthe glacier. Don’t be tempted to descend to your left too early. Once on the NW it is easy going down the main glacier . Cross the creek just after the toe of the glacier, cross steep screep slope to short step. Rappel off fixed anchor to top of scree slope, follow ridge down to rock bands. Descend through rock bands, working right and then left until you hit lower scree bands. Follow scree to valley floor, cross creeks to camp.

ό      Party Size – Unlimited      

ό      Equipment Required – ice axe, crampons, harness, ice screws, slings, helmet

ό      Length of Trip – 9 hrs

ό      Highlights – Nice pitch to summit, excellent views of the Lyells, Queens Pk., Alexandra and Columbia Icefields. Good relaxing day for large, intermediate group


         Mt Spring Rice (3275mtr) UTM - 840627

FA - August 1923, Joseph W. A. Hickson, Edward Feuz Jr.              


v     Route – S. Ramp, climb N. From base camp, cross S. Rice Brook (2 arms) and up scree slope E. of creek. Scree to rock bands, following weaknesses to the climbers right, follow waterfall, work right through rockbands. Cross to W. side of creek at approximately 800’-900’ above basecamp. Work up weaknesses to toe of the South Rice glacier. Follow glacier, mostly on the W. side to the col between the base of the N. Ridge of Fresnoy and Spring Rice. Follow snow slopes to the summit.
Descent –
Retrace ascent route
ό      Party Size – Unlimited
ό      Equipment Required –

ice axe, crampons, harness, ice screws, helmet
ό      Length of Trip – 9 hours
ό      Highlights – Great views, non-technical but high peak. Picturesque.


Ψ               Queant (3113 mtr) UTM – 837617

FA - August 1937, Kate Gardiner, Lillian Gest, Edward Feuz Jr., C Hasler    
v     Route – Approach as per Spring Rice. Turn NW and ascend snow couloir, up to 45 degrees for the last 50 mtrs. Can belay from ice patches at the top of couloir. Climb right on beautiful quartzite (60 mtr) to col. Diaganol left from col to base of left facing dihedral. Ascend 30 mtr of 4th class, last pitch up dihedral up to 5.0. Excellent horns. Short rope to summit.
Descent – N. towards Spring Rice. Stay off ridge crest, instead following ledge 5-10 mtr down of W. or left side that parallels ridge crest. Short rope on rock using ice as a handrail. 25 mtr lower down steep bluff, then easy slopes to Queant-Spring Rice col. Descend to South Rice Glacier and retrace ascent route.

ό      Party Size – Rope teams of 3
ό      Equipment Required – ice axe, crampons, harness, ice screws, helmet, 2 ice screws, 3 small cams
ό      Length of Trip – 10 hours
ό      Highlights – awesome rock pitch to summit, many variations available. Fun snow couloir.


Ψ               Fresnoy (3240 mtr) UTM – 851607

FA – August 1902, James Outram, Christian Kaufmann        

v     Route – Approach as per Spring Rice. Once on S. Rice Glacier, head N around steep ice and then E. towards Coral/Fresnoy col. Ascend rock and snow to summit block. Work NE around summit block and follow snow to summit.
Descent – Retrace ascent
ό      Party Size – Unlimited
ό      Equipment required - ice axe, crampons, harness, ice screws, helmet
ό      Length of Trip – 8 hours
ό      Highlights – Excellent views of Lyells, Columbia Icefields. High but non-technical q mountain


Ψ               Fresnoy (3240 mtr) UTM – 851607
FA – August 1902, James Outram, Christian Kaufmann

v     Route – Approach as per Spring Rice. Upon reaching Spring Rice – Fresnoy col, head E to the base of N. ridge of Fresnoy. 5 pitches on a steep, very exposed snow/ice arete to rock ridge. Interesting route finding along chossy ridge, don’t worry the intimidating cleft is bridged and is negotiable. Ascend blocky, exposed rock to summit.
Descent – Retrace normal ascent route on Fresnoy
ό      Party Size – Rope teams of three
ό      Equipment Required - ice axe, crampons, harness, ice screws, helmet, plenty of ice screws or two and an Abalakov wire. Plenty of slings.
ό      Length of Trip - 10 hours
ό      Highlights – Very exposed route with steep ice and interesting route finding on rock. Great view of the Lyells and Alexandra Icefall. Seldom climbed route, ours was the first since 1912. A good high-level traverse.


Ψ               Queen’s Peak – (3350 mtr) UTM – 865596

FA – July 12, 1978, Mark Dahlie, Phil Smith               

v     Route- Approach as per Fresnoy. After reaching Fresnoy/Coral col ascend ridge towards Fresnoy summit block. Ascend E. traversing under the Fresnoy summit block up to the Fresnoy/Queens ridge. Follow ridge to the base of Queens. Traverse S along the W face of Queens ascending loose, steep scree slopes. Ascend chossy rock chimney(5.6) for 50 mtrs to steep snow. Good belay station below snow. Steep snow to ridge, follow steep, snow arκte to summit block(small).
Descent- follow ascent route to top of steep snow. To avoid rockfall in ascent chimney, continue N along ridge. Follow ledges to very N end of ridge, long rappel along with some easy downclimbing leaves you on Fresnoy/Queens ridge. Retrace ascent route from this point
ό      Party Size – 3
ό      Equipment Required - ice axe, crampons, harness, ice screws, helmet, plenty of ice screws or two and an Abalakov wire. Plenty of slings. 4-5 smallish cams and 4-5 small nuts
ό      Length of Trip – 12 hours
ό      Highlights – 2nd ascent, which stands to this date. Excellent approach ridge, loose rock on crux pitches but good pro. Exposed, cool summit ridge. Safe efficient descent route.


Ψ         Whiterose Traverse (3047 mtr)    UTM – 845564

FA – July 1998  K. Nagy and GMC party

     Route – N. From base camp, cross S. Rice Brook (2 arms) and up scree slope E. of creek.

Scree to rock bands, following weaknesses to the climbers right, follow waterfall, work right through rockbands. After rockbands follow lateral moraine up to creek, a gain of 1200’. One 5.2 pitch up and left, scramble 100’, then traverse ledges under Coral Pk. to W. toe of Alexandra Glacier. Wind, working right and and then left through badly crevassed broken section until it flattens out. E. across easily travelled glacier. Ascend to Alexandra-Whiterose col., head SSW, ascending glacier until reaching the ridge proper on W. side. Follow obvious ridge, easy going with some exposure, short roping all the way. Descend slightly, then short climb to large summit.

Descent: Continue traverse by descending W. until reaching 50 mtr step. Rappel/lower with double rope to scree slope. Descend to glacier, travese W. to Rosepetal. Climb nice blocky rock to Rose Petal summit. Descend along W. ridge until it steepens. Work down ledges and loose scree to Whirlwind/Rosepetal col. Head N., following W margin of glacier into basin and down into camp.

ό                  Party Size – unlimited, ropes of three

ό                  Equipment Required – ice axe, crampons, harness, ice screws, long slings, helmet

ό                  Length of Trip – 8-10 hours

ό                  Highlights – Incredible traverse, long with spectacular views. Nice exposure on a non-

 technical route. Favourite choice of the 1999 GMC. Classic 


Ψ              Whiterose (3047 mtr)    UTM – 845564

FA –  July 1902 J Outram, C Kaufman

v                 Route – W. Buttress, Climb lateral moraine S. of campsite, travese to toe of glacier between Whiterose and Rose Petal. Easy going on ice, work right marginof glacier once it steepens and large crevasses appear. Follow large ramp to col, then follow ridge E.  towards summit block. One 5.3, 50 mtr climb on a rib just right of obvious large corner. Head across glacier to summit.

 Descent: Continue traverse by descending W. until reaching 50 mtrstep. Rappel/lower with double rope to scree slope. Descend to glacier, travese W. to Rosepetal. Climb nice blocky rock to Rose Petal summit. Descend along W. ridge until it steepens. Work down ledges and loose scree to Whirlwind/Rosepetal col. Head N., following W margin of glacier into basin and down into camp.   

ό                  Party Size – Unlimited

ό      Equipment Required – ice axe, crampons, harness, ice screws, long slings, helmet, green and red cams, 2 ropes or 60 mtr,

ό      Length of Trip – 8 hrs

ό      Highlights – Nice mixed terrain, great views, rock and ice climbing


Ψ                Whirlwind Pk (2710 mtr) UTM – 821571

FA – July, 1998  R Lybarger - SE Ridge

v      Route - Hike to Rosepetal/Whirlwind col.Ascend SE ridge, staying on exposed 4th class ridge as much as possible. Climb obvious chimney (5.4) on good, clean rock. Stroll easily along ridge to summit.

Descent – Retrace W. Ridge ascent route
ό      Party size – rope teams of three
ό      Equipment Required - ice axe, harness, helmet, slings, 2 small cams or nuts.
ό      Length of Trip– 6 hours
ό      Highlights – Short to moderate day, easy rock route with good exposure and great views to the S.

v              Regular   Route – Ascend S on grassy meadows above camp and then W into next drainage. Cross to W. side of creek and ascend W. side of glacier to col. Gain ledge on S. side, some exposure. Au cheval a short section on S side and then regain ridge. Stroll towards main peak. Follow easy ledge system to summit.

Descent – retrace ascent route
ό      Party size – Unlimited
ό      Equipment Required - ice axe, harness, helmet
ό      Length of trip – 6 hours
ό      Highlights – easy day, good views of Cockscomb and Ego


Ψ               Rose Petal (2791 mtr) – UTM – 831568

FA – July 1998, Terry Palechuk, Lisa Palechuk, B Stirling, Russ Lybarger, Brad Harrison       
v                 Route – Ascend moraine S. of campsite, meandering left and right through weaknesses in the boulders. Head E. of the peak and up onto the snow/ice. Walk easily up glacier, ascend steep snow slope to summit block.


Descent – From summit head W and follow gravel/scree down to Whirlwind/Rosepetal col. Descend N. on Glacier until reaching scree/talus slopes. Follow creek back to campsite
ό      Party Size – Unlimited
ό      Equipment Required - ice axe, harness, helmet
ό      Length of Trip –6 hours
ό      Highlights – Easy day for all, good rewarding summit for relatively small effort.


v                 Variation #1 –
v                 Route – Ascend moraine S. of campsite, head towards Whirlwind/Rosepetal col. Upon stepping onto the glacier, diagonal E and left to the base of steep snow/ice slope. Ascend steep slope direct, upon reaching upper bench follow ridge to summit.
Descent – As per regular Rose Petal descent
ό      Party Size – Rope teams of three
ό      Equipment Required - ice axe, harness, helmet, ice screws, slings, abalakov wire
ό      Length of trip – 7 hours
ό      Highlights – same good views as regular route with added steep snow/ice climb


Ψ               Fool’s Gold Peak (2712 mtr) – UTM -795578

FA – July 1998, Russ Lybarger

v     Route – same as standard route up to the col. Upon reaching the col take your pick of a number of nice lines on the face(5.2-5.6). Line taken on 1st ascent was on the right side of the face(5.3), direct line to the summit.

Descent – Retrace standard ascent route
ό      Party Size – rope teams of 3
ό      Equipment Required – ice axe, harness, helmet, slings 4-5 small cams and 4-5 small nuts
ό      Length of Trip – 8-10 hours
ό      Highlights – nice approach, good rock with many variations on summit face

v              Regular   Route – Ascend grassy slopes S of campsite diaganolling to the W. Contour into next valley below Whirlwind. Descend 400’ and continue on grassy ledges into the next valley W of the Whirlwind Valley. Ascend W side of glacier to the upper part of a cirque. Continue up cirque to col between objective and unnamed peak to the NW. Scramble up NE ridge to a step 200’ below top. Climb short(30’) step to ledge and follow easy ledge up and left to summit.

Descent – Retrace ascent route
ό      Party Size – Unlimited
ό      Equipment Required - ice axe, harness, helmet, slings, red and green Camelot
ό      Length of Trip – 8 hours
ό      Highlights – easy day, nice approach with good rock on summit block

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Fried Rice (2680 mtr) – UTM -798581

FA – July 1998, Peter Josty, Erma ??, Shannon Rowatt, Ken ??, John ??, Peter Amann
v                 Route – Contoured around from camp to 2nd valley as per Fools Gold. Head to the notch between the 2 summits and steep hard scree.
Follow ridge E up and around on to the N side. Follow ledge system to avoid difficulties on ridge. Some exposed 4th class, possible belay. Avoid the hard scree by going over east summit.
Descent – Retrace ascent route
ό      Party Size – 6

ό      Equipment Required – sling and carabiner for a few easy belays

ό      Length of Trip – 6 – 8 hours
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Rice Brook (3029 mtr) – UTM -832605

FA – July 1998, D Austin, Terry Palechuk, B Stirling, Russ Lybarger, Jim Gudjonson, Brad Harrison

    Route – E face, climb N. From base camp, cross S. Rice Brook (2 arms) and up scree slope E. of creek. Scree to rock bands, following weaknesses to the climbers right, follow waterfall, work right through rockbands. Cross to W. side of creek at approximately 800’-900’ above basecamp. Work up weaknesses to toe of the South Rice glacier. Follow glacier, mostly on the W. side to E Face of Rice Brook Peak. Climb diagonally, ascending right to left through exposed, chossy bands of Rockies schist. Climb one steep band through short chimney, 5.2. Gain ridge and follow S to summit block.


Descent – Retrace ascent route
ό      Party Size – 3 -4, difficult to protect and avoid rockfall.
ό      Equipment Required - ice axe, harness, helmet, slings, red and green Camelot
ό      Length of Trip – 8 -10 hours

ό      Highlights – Not many, very loose rock. As far as I know has not been climbed since so is sitting at one ascent.