One week at the Alpine Club of Canada’s Asulkan Hut (7,000′) in Rogers Pass, Glacier National Park, B.C.
Three days of mountaineering training then……climb Youngs Peak (9,341’/2,847 m)!
This is their week in pictures…
We owe a very special “Thank You” to Parks Canada for allowing us to have this amazing week in Glacier National Park.
Vérèna: Thanks for believing in this project!
Note: Click on any photo below to start a full-screen slide show with captions.
Our first look at our home for the next week: Youngs Peak (9,341 ft./2,847 m.) and Asulkan Pass .
Saturday morning in the valley at Wheeler Hut. Time to head up to our high camp at the Asulkan Hut. The team from left to right: Ben (almost 12), Simon (14), Sarah (13), Jason (old), Meredith (16), Keir (11), Svetlana (13), Emerald (14), Jessica (17), Keiran (15), Alistair (old), Zachary (18), and Keiller (really old). Six of the youth were from North Vancouver; two were from West Vancouver; one was from Golden, B.C., and; one was from Fall River, Nova Scotia.
Most of the participants in the 2013 Mountaineering Camp had extensive experience with canoe camping but no experience backpacking high up into the mountains.
These young people are about to find out that they are a lot tougher than they might ever have imagined!
Winter avalanche debris still lingers at the base of some of the slopes.
After a few hours hiking up through the valley, the trail starts to get more…interesting.
When you’ve hiked all the way to the end of the valley, you cross this bridge and then….you go UP!
The trail goes up along the top of the knife-edge ridge of the moraine in the centre of the picture to take us to the cabin at 7,000′.
Almost there! A few small sections of the moraine trail were snow-covered on the way up (snow-free on the way down).
Trail’s end. Looks like someone is tired…
“Here comes dinner!” Photo by Jason Gadd.
The Asulkan Hut as seen by a GoPro video camera mounted to the front of the helicopter.
Our food for the week is delivered to us (along with six fresh, hot extra-large pizzas for dinner tonight).
Thanks to Alpine Helicopters of Golden, B.C., for their generous assistance with this project!
We really needed to air-lift in our food for the week since it weighed at least 300 lbs.!
Nothing to cook tonight thanks to Red Tomato Pies of Golden, B.C.! Well earned after a hard hike up from the valley with full loads!
With Telus 3G service at the cabin and Goal Zero solar recharging systems, we’ll be on-line all week. Our newest gizmo is our DeLorme inReach SE satellite tracking and communications device!
Sunday morninng. Ready for the first day of mountaineering training. Today: introduction to snow travel, ice axe usage and self-arrest
The team is looking good in their 2013 Mountaineering Camp hats!
Ice axe plunging practice.
Back to the cabin for lunch.
Sunday afternoon: ice axe self-arrest practice.
Enjoying a good book and the last of the late afternoon sun while waiting for dinner.
Nice view of Rogers Pass from the front porch.
The sun is gone…time for some indoor activities.
Propane wall lamps provide a warm glow to the hut.
Nothing beats a cozy cabin and good company in the mountains at night.
The nightly card game.
Good night from Rogers Pass!
Monday morning. Today’s lesson: introduction to crampons and roped travel.
Happy Canada Day from Glacier National Park!
Scouting is cool! You get to go camping in the most spectacular places, learn all sorts of awesome new outdoor skills and have the most amazing adventures… Oh, and if you want, you can bring your kids along too!
Everyone puts their best spiked foot forward.
So who can walk up the hill without nicking their pant legs with their crampons?
Clean up after another yummy lunch.
Now, time for the 2013 Derek Zoolander Alpine Academy of Modeling! Today’s lesson: “How to rock The Rock.”
Scout Sarah rocking the “Blue Steel” pose.
Scout Svetlana working her interpretation of “Quiet Reflection”.
Scout Emerald tears up the “Little Mermaid” pose.
Scout Keiran nails the “The Bolt”.
Venturer Zach taking “The Thinker” out for a spin.
Scout Ben powns “The Discoverer”.
Scout Keir gives “The Scout” a go.
Venturer Jessica is “The Poet”.
Venturer Meredith becomes “The Explorer”.
Sarah tries her hand at snow rappelling.
Simon gives it a go…
Meredith takes a turn too.
Tuesday morning visitor.
Time to put all this training together and go for a little walk up towards Youngs Peak.
Don’t let anyone tell you that mountaineering is “child’s play”. These 11 and 12 year-old Scouts know better than that!
A rock formation called The Pterodactyl overlooks Rogers Pass to the north.
Taking a moment out to enjoy the view. Photo by Meredith Faulkner.
Typical flatlander mistake: asking how much further we have to hike. In the alpine, it’s not how much further….it’s how much higher that counts! 😉
Wednesday morning. Summit day!
“Alpine start”: up at 4 a.m. and out the door by 5:30 a.m.
Ready to go! [Note: While this shot looks bright it was actually pretty dim due to our early start. My camera really brightens low-light shots.]
Time for a little walk. Youngs Peak is waiting…
The morning sun starts to punch through over the mountain.
The headwall. This is the trickiest part of the climb since it’s the team’s first go at a fairly steep slope. None of my photos truly conveys how steep this wall is.
This photo by Jason Gadd better captures the steepness of the headwall.
Piece of cake! The youngest two team members (11 and 12) clear the headwall and are ready for more! Photo by Jason Gadd.
On top of the headwall. It’s clear sailing now to the top! Just don’t fall in any….well, never mind. Just stay on the trail and you’ll be okay!
On the summit! Some of the youth are flashing their age with their fingers.
Scouter Alistair is impressed by the vertical drop behind the rocks everyone is sitting on.
The Illecillewaet Névé stretches out behind Scouts Simon and Ben.
The big boy of Rogers Pass, Sir Donald (10,774’/3,284 m), rises just north of Youngs Peak behind Mountaineer Scout Keir.
Ben (left) celebrated his 12th birthday on the summit.
The four gals on the summit team (left to right: Meredith, Jessica, Svetlana and Emerald) relaxing with (left to right) Mt. Macoun (3030 m), Mt. Topham (2900 m) and Mt. Fox (3196 m) rising in the distance behind them.
A screengrab from a GoPro video taken on the summit by Meredith Faulkner.
One camp badge for young Ethan and one to be left under the summit cairn.
Panorama of Rogers Pass.
Jason strikes a jaunty pose with Mount Macoun (3030 m) rising in the background.
One last chance to head up the hill and explore a bit.
It’s been a great week and the weather is just too nice for too much more classroom stuff….time to call it a day and have some free time!
Friday morning. Time to head down the mountain and onto the next adventure.
Not sure if the moraine is harder coming up or going down. Our destination is 7 kms. away out towards the highway just visible near the top of the photo.
It’s amazing what a week in the mountains will do to a person’s strength, confidence and swagger.
This adventure is almost over. But….there’s always next year!
Well, that was fun… So, what mountain do we get to climb next? Photo by Jason Gadd
The week ends at the Rogers Pass Visitor Centre.
Looking back. The hut and the route to the summit.
Happy trails. We’ll be back next year!
Note: You can raise the resolution for each of these videos to 720p or 1080p to substantially improve their image quality!
BiPoLar AdRenaLine Edition
If you want to see all those photos (and more) blasted past your eyes to the tune of some rocking music, then give this video a try:
Here Comes Dinner!
Note: The Scouts didn’t know that the helicopter was bringing them fresh, hot pizza for dinner.
We had only arrived at the high camp a few minutes earlier after a challenging hike up the mountain. I love it when a plan comes together!
A 360 degree pan from the top of the Youngs Peak headwall as we descend back to the Asulkan Hut.
Meredith Faulkner’s Fast & Fun Video Recap of the 2013 Mountaineering Camp:
Leaders Need to Have Some Fun Too! – July 29-August 4, 2012:
A week ago, I attended the Alpine Club of Canada, Vancouver Section’s trip to Rogers Pass & the Bugaboos for some hiking, scrambling and climbing. Here are some of the highlights from that trip:
Note: Click on a picture to start a full screen carousel carousel slide show of the pictures with captions.
Monday: well over 7,000 feet up Cheops (8,546 ft./2,605 m) in Rogers Pass after a long approach hike all the way around the mountain and up its rear ridge – with only the summit pyramid left to be scaled – a wicked thunderstorm rolls in over us and we are forced to retreat back down the mountain.
Tuesday: Day 1’s objective, Cheops, is reflected in the melt water at the Rangers’ Hut ridge at the 7,000 foot level on the way up Mt. Abbott (8,087 ft./2,465 m) across the valley from Cheops. Unfortunately, heal blisters stopped my progress up the mountain (luckily I later sorted the problem out and continued the week unaffected by my damaged heals). While the rest of the team made good progress further up Mt. Abbott, they were again forced to turn around without summiting due to bad weather (torrential rain and hail).
Wednesday: The ACC’s cozy 12-person Asulkan Hut – our home for the night at 6,890 feet up the Asulkan Valley (a beautiful 6.5 km. hike in with a 2,790 foot elevation gain) sitting under Young’s Peak (9,341 ft./2,847 m.) and surrounded by the Asulkan Glacier – with a sweeping front porch view of all of the great peaks of Rogers Pass.
The Asulkan Hut has amazing views from its front porch high above the south end of Rogers Pass.
Wednesday Night: Team-mate Karen has time for one more photo as the sun sets over Rogers Pass. Tomorrow we hike back down to the car and drive 3 hours or so to the legendary Bugaboos.
Thursday: About half-way along the hike into/up to the Bugaboos, we get our first look at the famous Conrad Kain Hut (the green roof at the top of the wall above the waterfall). Almost there…but from here on up the trail gets a little more “interesting”….. How DO we get up that wall the hut’s sitting on?
Thursday: Cool trail….just don’t trip or slip!
Thursday: Really….don’t trip or slip! Cemented steps, chain handrails and a tall ladder bolted to the wall make up some of the interesting solutions to the challenges of this part of the trail.
Thursday: Finally the hike up from the valley floor is done….so, where are we anyway?
Friday: Welcome to the world famous climber’s playground: the Bugaboos! Snowpatch Spiire in the middle with Pidgeon Spire in the background right and Bugaboo Spire coming into view on the hard right with the treacherous Snowpatch/Bugaboo col in the center-right (it’s so steep that many rappel down rather than try to boot down – if you zoom in you can see the climbers’ ascent route zig-zagging up the snow field). I really don’t have a wide enough lens for this place…
The ACC’s Conrad Kain Hut (7,320 ft./2,230 m.) with Snowpatch Spire rising behind it (leave your ice axes and trekking poles outside please).
Friday: Our objective today is Eastpost Spire (8,950 ft./2,728 m).
We pass the campsite at Applebee Dome (about 8,000 ft. and 1 km. from the Kain Hut) as we head up towards Eastpost Spire.
We stash our ice axes and trekking poles and start our scramble up the Spire.
Karen & Brent soak in the view while making our way up the Eastpost Spire. This place is magical.
Valerie pauses to absorb the spectacle around her.
The Applebee campsite (about 800 feet directly below us) and the Kain Hut (about 1600 feet below us) continue shrinking in size as we ascend Eastpost.
The team celebrates getting to the first (false) summit of Eastpost Spire. To get to the slightly higher true summit….well, we should have brought a guide book….turns out we needed to traverse the spire a little lower down and then resume climbing to the top…oh, well, gives us an excuse to go back one day. Careful guys…that’s nearly a 1,000 foot drop down on both sides of that slab you’re sitting on (1,600′ straight down on the right to the Kain Hut).
The team begins making its way back down. We left our packs at lower platform on the spire. Once we get back to our packs, it’ll be time for lunch and then the final descent back to the Kain Hut.
As we eat lunch, another team rock climbing up the face of Eastpost tops out on the true summit.
Celebrating the end of a wonderful day and a fantastic week – alpine style! Careful…more than about 4 seconds of that glacial water will really freeze your brain! Behind me is the Kain Hut sitting on the edge of a bluff overlooking the valley below.
It’s a glorious Friday afternoon to be sitting on the steps of the Kain Hut. The leader of our week in Rogers Pass and the Bugaboos was veteran ACC member, Rob Brusse (center – one of the six founders of MEC 40 years ago). Rob and Alan (left beside Rob) just returned from successfully summiting Pidgeon Spire (Rob’s last unclimbed peak in the Bugaboos).
Unfotrunately, one of our team collapsed with crippling abdominal pains just before dinner on Friday (after suffering stomach flu-like symptoms for 24 hours). Luckily we were able to have the B.C. Ambulance Service medivac her out to the hospital in Golden.
Thanks to the B.C. Ambulance Service for rushing to our team-mate’s rescue. It’s nice to know there’s help out there when we really need it no matter how far out we are into the backcountry and mountains of British Columbia!
A shakey cam 360 view of the area surrounding the ACC’s Asulkan Hut located at 6,900 feet at the south end of Rogers Pass, B.C.
The B.C. Ambulance Service airlifted one of our team-mates out of the Bugaboos (from the landing pad beside the Conrad Kain Hut) after she was stricken with a perforated appendix (she collapsed with crippling abdominal pains just before dinner after suffering stomach flu-like symptoms for 24 hours).