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The standard route on Assiniboine was climbed by William Douglas and a strong team of guides. Christian Hasler had already descended the route two years before. Hasler was one of Whymper's guides from the Matterhorn, thirty-eight years earlier. (Chris Jones, Climbing in North America, 1976)(Randy Morse, The Mountains of Canada, 1978)
Gmoser's Highway ("mosers") is the start of serious terrain. I once watched some gnarly East Face candidates rappel the scary snow gully to climbers left, after using Gmoser's on the way up. They had huge packs. I don't recommend the gully. Instead, lower your big pack down the upper headwall, 30' of steep jugs (5.0) with a landing that might save you. The crux of the lower traverse is the less difficult, but more exposed. A roped fall could be very dangerous. Have the rack ready, even though a fixed pin may be found at the low end belay.
Do not drink any of the water found along Gmoser's Highway, the streams below the hut are polluted and have strange leech like worms. The RC Hind hut is one of the higher huts in the Rockies. Tenting on the huts flat spot may still be allowed. Make arrangements for the RC Hind Hut with the Assiniboine Lodge, easily searched on the web.
From the Hind Hut, cross moraines over to the north ridge and climb right of snow, along the easy part of the ridge. Cut left, on snow, around the first cliff band. A long scramble up debris covered slabs leads to the first hard part, the red band .
After the Red Band pitch, pick your way carefully up rubble covered ledges for a few hundred feet. This part is seen in the photo above.
The crux climbing is passing the Gray Band . Some teams solo all the way to the Gray Band and then do a 50 foot pitch. Above, a short rock rib is easily climbed to the summit ridge. Be on guard. Trapdoor summit cornices have claimed lives.
Descent is by careful down-climbing and some rappels. Lots of fixed anchors are in place, but not all get used. Pulling rappel ropes can cause rockfall.
On a busy day, moving cautiously , communicating with neighbors, and waiting in safe zones can help prevent accidents.
BETA PHOTO: British Colombia
Assiniboine Approach Map
Red - ...
BETA PHOTO: GMOSER'S HIGHWAY
Photo by MP contributor Flex
The North Face and Ridge of Mt. Assiniboine from t...
Alpine ridge scrambling at its finest
One of several options through the Red Band
A busy day on the N Ridge
Teams queued up at the Gray Band
Making the last steps to the summit of Mt. Assinib...
Approaching the N ridge itself.
Near the top.
D'ya think you should stand that close to the edge...
Loose rock rappel!!
BETA PHOTO: Trail Map
contour interval 200 f...
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Dec 31, 2010
This route is really fun! Loose rock, of course, but that is expected up in Canada. The peak is gorgeous. The approach used to be a lot easier when you could do half of it on a mountain bike. Too bad they shut this down. See our trip report from 2000:
|By Ken Trout|
From: Golden, CO
Dec 28, 2011
I can't thank George and Flex enough for the excellent beta & photos!