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Lizzy's Ridge on Mount Birdwood
Timestamp Free: 2017.09.21 - 12:40:15
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges / Spray Mountains
  (2 days)
Participants:
Mike Warren, Esther Visser, Florian Jungen
Difficulty:
5: II, 5.7 (but more like III)
A "long day" climb of Mt. Birdwood turned into two. Very fun on the promised good rock of the ridge but very chossy in the upper third of the route.
I have heard it suggested that Lizzy's Ridge should be a grade III, not II; I agree. Although Dougherty's description about good rock and sound belays definitely applies to the ridge section of the climb, the chossy south-east face enjoys neither and is quite loose.

Originally planning to head into BC, the great weather reports for Calgary and area over the long weekend convinced us to try something closer and we settled on Birdwood via Lizzy's Ridge with possibly some playing around on Burstall Slabs as well.

A late start (due to too much Friday evening and not enough Friday night) had us hiking during the afternoon up the mostly-pleasant (and very, very busy) Burstall Pass trail. We had the good fortune of spotting a Grizzly on the avalanche slopes near the pass and spent some time watching him (or her) rip up the slopes for tasty root treats; awesome!

We continued slightly above the meadows until we found a water-source from a melting snowpatch and made camp. While cooking dinner, a group a backpackers joined us to warn us of the Grizzly, who had startled them galloping past their group at the pass, heading into the next valley. They then chose to camp nearby, not wanting to continue their plan by following the bear.

Climbing
: We woke up to a beautiful morning and the swarms of mosquitoes that lie in wait for warm climbers. A quick bit of porridge and we were off to the base by just after 0800, which turned out to be many, many hours too late.

Working our way up ramps and breaks on the left side of the ridge, we roped up after about 250m of climbing, all on decent rock. The rock improved to excellent as we followed the ridge for the next several hours. Belays were, as promised, sound ...

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