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Recondite Peak Approach and Route Description
Timestamp Free: 2019.12.15 - 17:13:35
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges / Murchison Group
  (3 days)
Participants: Rick Collier; Orvel Miskiw; Andre Kerdovius; Andy Strangemann; Dan Lister
Difficulty: 4: Long approach; loose, often exposed, sometimes serious scrambling onridge; complex route-finding.
Recondite Peak is the lowest of the 11,000'-ers, but is located in a quite remote and exotic location; the climbing is not difficult, but does present hazards
Although Recondite is the lowest of the eleven-thousand-foot peaks in the Southern Rockies, escaping mountaineering limbo by a mere ten feet, this peak ranks up with King George and the Goodsirs in terms of its remote and exotic location and the length of the approach. This and the difficulty of the actual climbing may account for the fact that it was the second-to-last eleven-thousand-foot summit to be ascended in the Southern Rockies, eight years after Deltaform, King Geroge, Sir Douglas, and Willingdon in 1919, but thirty-seven years before Harrison in 1964. In August of 1927 a small party consisting of H. Palmer and Ernest Feuz camped near the peak and made its first ascent the next day.

The Approaches: any way you cut it, the hike in to camping spots near the peak is around thirty kilometres, a distance that has always suggested to me that one ought to make the ascent of Recondite simply the core of a week's mountaineering activity in the region. First ascents of unnamed peaks -- some of them over 10,000' -- remain and many of the named peaks have had but one party on their summits -- Fuerer, Perren, Anteus, Simpson, Osgood, and Augusta all deserve more attention than they receive. It is Augusta, in fact, that possesses one of the few unclimbed north-face icefields that remain in the southern Rockies.

The standard approach starts from the Helen Creek parking area just N of the first bridge past Mosquito Creek on the Banff-Jasper Highway ("Hector Lake" map 82 N/9 GR 431227 [trail does not meet road as shown on map]). The only problem here is that the Helen Crk valley is often off limits because of a bear closure. In this case, one has to drive further N to the first vehicular turn out before Bow Lake; the trail that starts here will intersect the Helen Crk...

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