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Looking North from Fresnoy Mountain toward South Twin # 15138

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Date: 2011.08.01
Vantage Point: The summit of Fresnoy Mountain

Caption: Several of the peaks of the Columbia Icefield: West Twin, South Twin, North Twin, Mount Alberta, plus Spring Rice

PhotoDescr: We ascended Coral Peak as part of a long traverse of two significant mountains on our second day of the ACC (Calgary) section camp in South Spring Rice Brook for 2011: we were up early and off once again up the headwall, part of it by headlamp; but once at the top, we headed right around the base of Coral Peak on a shelf with a good path to the east Alexandra glacier. Easy cramponing from there up to the West Alexandra basin - this was the wide glacial basin that Reg Bonney and I had trucked across fourteen years earlier when we climbed Fresnoy but in a whiteout had mistaken it for Queens. Easily then up the steep snow of the east face of Coral and a fine march on a narrow ridge to the summit, all of this under brilliant sunshine and a bluebird sky.

We actually traversed over Coral from south to north and then descended, with some minor exposure, to the ridge that extends off to the towers, some which are visible on the far right of the photo; we descended slightly below the towers and continued to traverse snow pillows on the far side, eventually regaining the broad southwest snow slope of Fresnoy (clearly visible in the photo to the right of the cornice) - this is where we started having serious problems since the snow was so deep and so mushed up that we were post-holing most of the remaining elevation to the base of the summit block.

Eventually we arrived at the various gullies cutting through the rock of the summit block; we chose a reasonable one and proceeded to kick steps up to some ice, which we front-pointed, and then a small cornice to the windy summit, where we found a cairn complete with the register Reg and I had left some fourteen years ago.

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