Mount Athabasca

Mount Athabasca Trip Report (#270)

  • Signed By: Dow Williams
  • Date submitted: November 01, 2004
  • Number of People Encountered:0-10 people
  • Recommend to a Friend: Highly


This is a 4700'+/- ascent day. We took off on the trailhead at 5:00 AM and used lamps for about 2000' up rocky moraine to an entry point on the glacier (there was a bivy site at this location). No sooner had we roped up on the glacier than we got pelted with a hard rain. Zero visibility lay ahead on the summit. However, we made the decision to proceed and within 30 minutes, things lightened up.

Little A glacier was in good shape. Crevasses presented themselves in the open and the snow bridges appeared solid. There are less objectionable hazards dealing with the more strenuous 900'+/- of ice on Silverhorn than the North Glacier hump below the ice seracs. You clear the col right below Silverhorn and then proceed straight up the main rib to the right. Once on the Silverhorn summit, it is just a ridge walk to the main summit. We did descend the North Glacier route, but moved quickly. There was one fresh ice fall on the route. It does not take long to cross though. The main glacier route itself is straight forward as long as you have decent visibility. It took us less than 5 hours to summit, and 2.5 hours to descend. You have great views of Mount Kitchener, Snow Dome, Nigel Peak (which I climbed one week prior) and Mount Saskatchewan.

Crux- Advise taking 2 axes or tools for this route and of course move quickly whenever under the seracs. Don't underestimate how cold it can be on this summit. It is exposed.

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