Snowy Pass Climbing History and Information-GMC, 2003
Note all information is based on having a camp SW of Snowy Pass at an elevation of 7186 and with an UTM of 571785. Estimates of the mountain elevations vary according to different guidebooks. We will get accurate information at the GMC. Elevations I have used are my own estimates according to the data now present. Names given to the peaks are a combination of real names as per the Canadian National Geographic Names Board, given and traditional names used in guidebooks and journal articles. The remainders are names created by Roger Wallis and the Toronto Section at a camp the section held in the summer of 2001.
The party crossed the E Chaba Glacier to the Chaba Col and ascended the SW slope and ridge. The 2nd ascent party, consisting of Cromwell, Cromwell, North and Thorington, found Habels summit record in 1936. The 3rd ascent party, the Petroske family, in 1979 approached the Chaba Col by way of the Wales Glacier. This is the route the GMC participants will likely use. There have only been 4 recorded ascents but paraphernalia on the route suggests that it has been climbed more often than indicated.
Schoellers party approached their objective via the E fork of the Chaba River, and then followed the E Chaba glacier to the W ridge, which they ascended to the summit, block and then followed the S ridge to the summit. Cromwell, Cromwell, North and Thorington repeated this ascent route in 1936. In 1979 the Petroske family approached from the S, ascending the Wales Glacier, then crossed the Continental Divide just N of the Deamon Horns. They crossed the S Chaba Glacier to the base of the S ridge, which they followed to the summit.
*The E ridge remains unclimbed*
The Petroskes approached via the Wales Glacier. The climbing was reported to be good and medium 5th class. They climbed both the S and N towers.
Due to the relative proximity to our base camp location these towers should prove to be a good fun in the sun objective for the GMC.
The 1st ascent party approached the N Tower of Wales from the S Chaba Glacier and then ascended the W snow slopes. Due to the broken up nature of the E Wales Glacier it is unlikely that Wales has been climbed from the E.
The S tower is likely unclimbed and may draw some interest from the guides, leaders and participants of the 2003 GMC.
Peaks to the
East of Snowy Pass (Toronto Glacier, named by Thorington) :
Bill Petroske soloed the N ridge from a camp at Snowy Pass. An interesting large, knife-edge slab leads up the last 500 to the summit. The only other ascent was by M McDermott, B McKenzie and R Wallis in 2001 and was also along the N Ridge.
This should provide a good short day option for GMC participants.
The 1st ascent party( which includes frequent GMCers, Helmut and Michael) approached from the King Edward Glacier, headed W to the 9370 col and then NW to the summit ridge. The Petroske Party crossed the Toronto Glacier from Snowy Pass and ascended the S ridge as the 1st ascent party did. GMC participants will use this route.
Kains party ascended the King Edward Glacier into the Upper basin at around 8600. They traversed around the base of the peak to the SW ridge and S Face. After climbing scree for 2 hours to the summit cap, they traversed E and crossed the SE ar๊te by a narrow fissure. They ascended a broken 100 chimney that pierces the upper cliff belt and gives access to the S. Summit, which is 80 higher than the N summit.
GMC participants will have to bivy at the 9320 Pass one night, climb the peak and return to camp. It may be possible to climb King Edward from Snowy Pass in one very long day.
Peaks to the
South of Snowy Pass (The Watershed Glacier Area) :
The 1st ascent party crossed the Toronto Glacier and up to the col SW of Triad. They then followed the SW snow slopes to the summit. This is a non-technical snow climb. The parties of the 1st ascent, by an ACC party in 1975 and 3rd ascent in 1986 (on skis) didnt offer any route descriptions.
Both parties made the 1st ascent of Omega on the same day. I will have to ask Helmut or Michael who arrived at the summit first. I assume both parties crossed the Toronto Glacier. Maki and Benson ascended the NW ridge, it was noted that crossing the moat was difficult and then easy scrambling (difficulty has been questioned) to the summit. Microys and Rosenberger headed to the low point E or Omega and then ascended the E Ridge. The route was interesting with 200+ meters of F3 rock to the summit.
The GMC participants will have a chance to explore both routes. Omega is purported to be a really fine, rock peak.
1st ascent party approached the peak from the Aquaduct Glacier. They reached the base of the W. Ridge and they had an hour of interesting rock climbing to the summit. The original description names the W Ridge as the route but it seems more likely that they ascended the S ridge.
GMC participants will have an opportunity to recce both of these options as well as explore the N ridge which starts at a col between the S and N summits. Thorington named these peaks in 1931 due to the fact they are indeed the watershed.
The NW ridge is described as an easy scramble.
This route will be used by the GMC participants and should serve as a great, introductory climb. The route starts five minutes from our base camp location. Other routes, particularly from the E may be explored during the GMC.
Peaks to the
West of Snowy Pass (The Aquaduct Glacier Area) :
Approach via the Aquaduct Glacier and ascend icefall to the low point between the N and Center peaks. They then ascended the S slopes, climbing steep shale to the summit. This route has changed drastically since 1936 and may present difficulties working through the icefall.
If the route proves to be reasonable it will be a good option for a shorter day during the GMC.
Approach via the Aquaduct Glacier and ascend icefall to the low point between the N and Center peaks. Climb the N Ridge, which turns, into a narrow, rocky route to the summit. This route has changed drastically since 1936 and may present difficulties working through the icefall. J Petroske and his 3 sons made the 2nd ascent in 1979. They crossed the Aquaduct Glacier and climbed to the col between the Center and S Peaks. The S snow slopes were easily followed to the summit. The Toronto section climbed the E face direct in 2001.
The summit is a very cool, knife edge, ice crest.
Approach via the Aquaduct Glacier and ascend via E edge of a spectacular SE icefall eventually gaining glacial basin above the Aquaduct Glacier. Head W and gain ridge between the Center and S Peaks. Follow N ridge over mixed snow and rock to 9,900 minor peak. Traverse along ridge, negotiating gendarmes and work up steep snow and ice pitch to summit. The final pitch was rated at Grade 2, F4 by Krusynas party. The Petroskes made the 2nd ascent in 1979 via the S Ridge. They approached via the Aquaduct Glacier, crossed the SE ridge then gained the S Ridge. The S Ridge consisted mainly of scree and was followed easily to the summit.
The S summit of Aquaduct should prove to be a most interesting GMC objective, offering some challenging options. B Krusyna named the peak in 1978 because of the water falling out of holes in the cliff wall below the SE glacier. This is a very nice looking mountain.