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Ascents of Mt. Alcantara & Mt. Brussilof
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.22 - 06:19:16
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges / Blue Range
Participants: A large ACC group, including, but not restricted to, Pat Michael, Hans Braun, Don Forest, Martin Kripple, John MacKenzie, Bob Saunders, and Rick Collier
Difficulty: 3: Bushwhacking on approach; Alcantara = easy scrambling; Brussilof = moderate scrambling, with some exposure; descent via snow couloir is technical and may be avalanche prone
The report recounts an ACC trip during which both Alcantara and Brussilof were ascended by their standard routes
Alcantara (9850'/2840') was first ascended in August of 1929 by the redoubtable Miss Katie Gardiner, along with her trusty guide, the equally redoubtable Walter Feuz. They ascended from Aurora Creek up the drainage E of Alcantara to reach the Alcantara/Brussilof col; from there, they followed the SE ridge "over good rock to the summit" (157 - Green Guidebook). Although Alcantara is the name of a city on the Tagus River in western Spain, site of considerable intellectual ferment in the late Middle Ages, it is (sadly!) all too likely that this peak was named for "a British warship [of the same name] involved in the Battle of Jutland" (6 - Boles, "Place Names of the Canadian Alps").
The various vehicles of the group met where the drainage from the NW side of Mt. Brussilof intersects the dirt road running from the BayMag highway to the Aurora Creek/Assiniboine Creek staging area - about 0.6 km from the parking area. We geared up and bushwhacked (moderately nasty in hot sun) for a little over two thousand feet into the valley that abuts the ridge connecting Alcantara with Brussilof. There's an unnamed lake nestled at the W end of this valley; we found good camping in a meadow near this lake at treeline under the frowning cliffs of Brussilof. Late in the afternoon we ascended the easy scree up the SW slopes of Alcantara to the summit in less than three hours (3250'). There was little time to linger, though -- thunder and an approaching storm forced a quick retreat from the summit. We left a register in the summit cairn.
On the 28th, we got an early start under partly cloudy skies, and ascended up scree and easy cliffbands to the Alcantara/Brussilof col NE of our camp. Then steep snow and scree, with the odd scrambly bit, on the N ridge to took us to the...
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