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Aye Mountain - Third Ascent
Timestamp Free: 2020.05.26 - 11:10:31
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
Participants: First attempt: Reg Bonney, John Holmes, Bill Hurst, Sim Galloway, and Rick Collier
Second Attempt: Reg Bonney, Bill Hurst, Ealaine West, and Rick Collier
Difficulty: 5: Route-finding problems; loose rock; frequent serious exposure; towers with down and up climbing to 5.5
This article reports on two attempts, one of which was successful, on a very complex and difficult peak just south of Mt. Assinboine.
This is the story of what is likely the third ascent of this rambling, yet difficult, peak. Aye is situated next door to its somewhat higher neighbour, Mt. Eon: Eon is approximately two km SE of Aye and possesses a mere 220' in additional elevation. Even Eon itself is not climbed all that frequently, but its slightly greater popularity than Aye is due no doubt to its slightly greater altitude. However, I had been fooled into believing that Aye was a very straightforward climb by reports of parties going in to the Eon/Aye area for a long weekend, apparently to ascend both peaks. Usually, of course, they climbed no peaks because of the frequent bad weather in the area. However, the implication seemed to be that they intended to labor up Eon one day and zip up Aye the next. Well, Aye is no 'zip', and in fact as far as we could tell there were no signs that it had been climbed since its first two ascents in the early 1930s; although there was a chain of small cairns in the mid-portion of the climb, they in fact led to a false summit, and there was only the slightest trace of a cairn to be found once we attained the true summit. Recent parties have obviously concentrated on Eon and neglected Aye almost entirely. Still, the implication that Aye was an inconsequential summit pervaded my thinking and was in part responsible for our failure to climb it on our first attempt. What remains clear for me now is that Aye is a much more difficult climb than Eon and is likely not only the most difficult of all the climbs in the Assiniboine region, but is one that in the Rockies generally ranks with St. Bride, Whitehorn, and even Alberta in complexity if not in size (See Aye).
The history of this mountain - which is really just the highest of several high points on a long...
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