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Ascents of Mts. Allenby and Mercer
Timestamp Free: 2018.09.23 - 23:54:11
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
  (2 days)
Participants: Allenby: Reg Bonney, John Holmes, Rick Collier Mercer: Rick Collier
Difficulty: 3: Moderate to difficult scrambling
Three attempts on Mt. Allenby (true and false summits), one successful; a solo ascent of a new route on Mt. Mercer
The important thing to remember about Mt. Allenby (9820'/2995m) is that the summit provided with this name on the map is not the true summit - it is in fact some 325' lower than the actual apex. The distinction between what I call 'True' Allenby and 'False' Allenby is made abundantly clear in the "Guidebook to the Rocky Mountains - South" (178) (a fact that I discovered only after my first attempt!). The true summit is the high point of 24-km long Sundance Ridge that stretches from the Bow River SSE to end with the buttresses of Cone Mt. just N of the SW terminus of Spray Lake. On the map (82 J/13) the true summit is E and slightly N of the summit marked as Allenby.

Mercer Creek Valley is reached by the usual access route to Assiniboine: Shark Mountain parking, past Watridge Lake, up Bryant Creek to the Marvel Lake warden station; some 2.7 km further on, one should take a right turn (NE) and follow the Mercer Creek drainage up into the basin 2300' above Bryant. There are occasional game trails, but in general if one stays on the true left-hand side of Mercer Creek (SE), the bushwhacking will be moderate. Once into the meadows of the upper basin, the contours level out and there are several pleasant camping spots. Mercer Creek had plenty of water in it on my late-September trip into the area. Back in the good old days, when you could cycle in at least to the warden station, it was possible to climb both Allenby and its neighbour Mercer and exit over a two-day weekend. A two-bagger might take at least three days if the approach and the exit marches have to performed on foot.

There is no record in the Guidebook or in subsequent CAJ's of a first ascent; however, when we finally gained the summit of True Allenby, we found the ruins of an old cairn. This summit, as...

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