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Avalanche Mountain Southwest Ridge
Timestamp Free: 2020.09.23 - 05:16:01
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Selkirk Mountains / Duncan Ranges / Sir Donald Range
Participants: Jason Dixon Class 3 scrambling
A quick scramble to the summit of Avalanche Peak via its southwest ridge.
I had never had the chance to climb a peak solo and had always wanted to try a little something. So when on our summer family vacation the chance arose I wasn't about to waste the chance. I had gone up to Avalanche peak a few years ago to climb the Southwest face with a friend. Unfortunately the heavens opened on us just as we were getting to the bottom of the face (this happens a lot at the pass) and we made a very soggy trudge back down to our camp in the valley. This day though the weather was great, it had rained a couple of days before washing the smoke of the summer of 2003 mostly away. At 7:55am I kissed my wife and girls and set off up the Avalanche crest trail. My pack was light so I made good time and was at the end of trail sign by 9:15am. After quickly adjusting my clothes I set off through the moraines left by an almost extinct glacier, a short scramble up a gully led to a notch in the SW ridge just before it rose up more steeply on the mountain proper. In the notch I had a bite to eat before setting off up the ridge. I climbed over a small hump in the ridge to another notch, which brought me to the base of a step in the ridge. The step was made up of a series of faces and ledges and though not high I knew it would be the crux of the route. From below it looked a fair bit harder than class 3 that's for sure. I was a bit nervous so I carefully made my way up making sure I would be able to reverse any sections I climbed on descent. I had a couple bits of gear a harness and a long piece of cord, so I could have rapped the section if necessary but I didn't want to deal with that hassle if I didn't have to. The crux section was short (and seemed more like low class 5) and once past, the ridge became a rather loose trudge for some distance. At about ¾ height it...
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