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Ascent of Mount Sturdee
Timestamp Free: 2019.05.21 - 21:06:40
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
  (1 days)
Participants: Reg Bonney, Rick Collier
Difficulty: 4: Steep snow in places; moderate to difficult rock scrambling, with tricky route-finding
An account of a traverse NW across the ledges of Mt. Assiniboine from near Mt. Lunette to Mt. Sturdee, the summit block of which was then ascended
Mt. Sturdee (10,350' or 3155m) is a remote and difficult peak that, because it is does not reach the mythical elevation of eleven thousand feet and because it languishes under the huge shadow of its neighbour, Mt. Assiniboine, is rarely ascended. However, it is a notable, demanding, and satisfying ascent, one worth a traverse over from the Hind Hut or up from Lunette Lake.

It was first climbed in August of 1920 by W.W. Foster, E.T. Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. P.S. Thompson. Their ascent is the standard route - it starts on the E ridge and finishes on the N flank. An ACC party led by A.H. MacCarthy climbed the N ridge from the Sturdee Glacier and traversed to the summit a few days later. Englehard and Kutschera did a somewhat more difficult variation on the original ascent route in August, 1934. Murray Toft and Alan Derbyshire performed a winter ascent of the NE face in a demanding tour de force in December of 1976.

According to Glen Boles in "Place Names of the Canadian Alps", "Sir Frederick Charles Doveton Sturdee (1859-1925) was the victorious commander of the British Squadron at the 1914 Battle of the Falkland Islands . . . . Graf Von Spee's command was soundly defeated and its leader met his death. Sturdee was later in command of a part of the Grant Fleet at [the Battle of] Jutland and became Admiral of the Fleet in 1921" (320-21).

There are two standard approach routes: 1). Over the Strom col (at which point Sturdee presents a most imposing aspect) from the Hind Hut and across the Sturdee Glacier to the Sturdee-Assinboine col or 2). Up from Lunette Lake via the niche glacier descending to the S from the Sturdee-Assiniboine col.

However, on July 17, 1994, Reg Bonney and I took a somewhat more roundabout approach: we had just climbed Lunette and had descended...

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