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A Second Ascent of Simpson Ridge
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.24 - 07:30:20
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
Participants: Rick Collier
Difficulty: 2: Backpacking and easy scrambing
The Simpson/Edmonton Ridge (2874m) runs for 18-20 km from the crook in the Simpson River to the final SE slopes of Nub Peak that run down toward Lake Magog.
The Simpson/Edmonton Ridge (9430' or 2874m) runs for 18-20 km from the crook in the Simpson River, where it bends from NE to SE and S, to the final SE slopes of Nub Peak that run down toward Lake Magog. Although Nestor Peak is the highest point on this lengthy arete, the ridge proper also has a summit somewhat vaguely located on its NW plateau. It was first climbed in July of 1920 by a group of alpinists well-known to the mountain historian: H.C. Bulyea (who has a peak named after him in the Freshfields), C.G. Wates (who had an important ACC hut named after him), and Miss M. Gold (one of the first prominent female alpinists in the Rockies, who preceded Gardiner and Englehard by several years); all three were important members of the Alpine Club of Canada in its early days (when it was still a climbing club and not a business) and made significant contributions to its development. Their route of first ascent was a long and difficult rock and snow climb up the E side from the Golden Valley. Their summit bid took 10.5 hrs and their return via the Simpson Ridge/Nestor col to the Simpson River must have been similarly convoluted and time-consuming. One can imagine this having been a magnificent epic of at least sixteen hours!
Being intrigued by the history of this otherwise insignificant ridge, I had made a trip into the area on June 17-18, 1995, with Mardy Roberts, Carmie Callanan, and John Holmes. But, as I later wrote in my climbing journal, "rain began in earnest in the afternoon of our approach day and continued all evening and throughout the night. There wasn't much choice but to exit in the pouring rain on Sunday without even setting foot on our objective."
However, I was back on a solo venture the next summer (1996), this time on August 28 and in better...
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