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Up the Chaba River to Dais Mountain
Timestamp Free: 2019.09.23 - 01:37:20
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
  (8 days)
Participants: Steve Sheriff, Christine Brick, Gray Thompson
Difficulty: 3: 3rd class rock, some snow/glacier travel, serious wading.
Wade, ford, and brushwhack your way up the east fork of the Chaba for a couple of days. When you get below Dais, climb up to the divide, then climb Dais Mountain - its worth it!
Mount Quincy has an impressive northeast face. Kruszyna and Putnam's guide confirms the same for Sundial Mountain. As it is flanked by these two, we reasoned Dais Mountain's northeast face would be in the same league. [px]CB_pack.JPG[c]Fast and light[/px], we went to have a look.

The Athabasca River trail leads to the Chaba River, then Fortress Lake. The route was a bit less "well traveled" thereafter; [px]BearPrint.jpg[c]visitors[/px] were uncommon. However, the Chaba River has fine gravel bars and, after some wading, bushwhacking, napping, and six fords (at which the moose seemed to be naturals), we found vestiges of the old ACC trail east of the narrows in the Chaba's east fork; now just head up for 3,300 feet. Shortly (2.5 days overall) we were camped and drying boots at about 8,300', below the north ridge of Dais Mountain with a nice view of Dais' west face.

The benches and meadows on the west flank of Dais Mountain are spectacular, the vistas grand. Sundial Mountain looks particularly nice, Tsar Mountain stands proud beyond the Chaba Glacier, Chaba Peak and Listening Mountain are nearby. We wandered north towards Mount Quincy, but at about 10,200' we were stopped by a deep saddle adorned with rubble gargoyles and ice-fed waterfalls. It was quite easy to turn the north side of Dais Mountain for a look at, what was then, our purpose in life - the northeast face of Dais. Unfortunately, after some concentrated binocular work and listening, we decided we wanted either more ice, or better rock - we left the northeast face route for somebody else.

We did ascend Dais Mountain by the 1927 SE face/S ridge; it seemed to be rarely visited. The route is [px]DaisDescent.jpg[c]3rd class[/px] and care should be taken in...

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