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Parent Area: Duncan Ranges
Area: 37 sq km.Location: This group of small but beautiful peaks is situated just south and west of Roger's Pass. The range forms a ridge bounded by the Trans Canada Highway and the Illecillewaet river on the North, the Illecillewaet neve to the east , the famed Asulkan pass to the south and Lily col to the east.
Terrain: The rock in the Asulkan range is part of the Hamill group, and is mainly composed of pale quartzite and bits of brown/green slate. A wide selection of routes, mostly of moderate difficulty can be found in this range. The dip of the rock is such that it produces steeper faces on the east side of the range and more gentle slopes on the west. The northwest face of Young's Peak is an excellent alpine ice face, while Mounts Abbott and Afton are easy scrambles offering excellent views. The east face of the Rampart also offers up a couple of fine rock routes in the mid fifth class range, but possibly the finest undertaking is a traverse of the whole range from north to south. Both David Jones book, Selkirks South and John Kevin Fox's book the Columbia Mountains of Canada - Central, offers excellent descriptions of all the major routes in the area and is a highly recommended guidebook for anyone wishing to visit any of the areas in Glacier National Park.
History: The name Asulkan, which means wild goat was first applied to the area by the Rev. William Spotswood Green and his cousin Rev. Henry Swanzy during their historic visit in the summer of 1888. They were the first tourists to travel to the mountains of the Selkirks with the intent of climbing, although their main objective was to map the area. Anyone interested in this type of history is well advised to read 'Among the Selkirk Glaciers', the book written by Rev. Green in 1890. The book was re-released a few years ago by the Alpine Club of Canada and gives good insight into the trials and motivations of turn of the century explorers. The peaks of the Asulkan range were some of the first peaks to be explored by early visitors. In addition to the Reverends above Charles Fay, Phillip Abbot, and Charles Thompson were principal explorers as well as other guest staying at Glacier House. Often these ascents were made in the presence of the famed Swiss guides stationed at Glacier House by the C.P.R. Arthur Wheeler also climbed in this range during his surveys around the turn of the century.
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