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Possible Second Ascent of Marvel Peak
Timestamp Free: 2020.10.21 - 10:44:26
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
  (3 days)
Participants: Rick Collier, Mardy Roberts
Difficulty: 3: Moderate scrambling
This article recounts an ascent of the SW ridge of Marvel Peak from Marvel Pass, and the discovery of a wonderful surprise on the summit
We drove down the Radium highway, turned left at Settlers Road, drove 10 km S, then took another left, curved around and down to cross the Kootenay River, climbed the hill on the other side, and, at the junction, turned left for a third time; many km later and just before the BayMag gypsum plant, we took our first right and climbed up a ditched and rutted road to the N; some 5 km later we arrived at the small parking area that serves as the staging area for both Assiniboine and Aurora Creek.

The trail E up Aurora is on the left-hand side of the stream (true right) and has recently been improved. It's about 4 km up the creek to the headwall and then 3.5 km up the headwall to the alpine meadows above (and the old Marvel Pass cabin) and then on to Marvel Pass (GR 004/327 on 82 J/13 - Mount Assiniboine), with a gain of about 1600' in elevation. The Marvel Pass is an incredible place, dotted with little lakes and streams, laced with flowered meadows and larches, and with fine views down Owl Creek.

Despite a hard, cold, but brief rain, we set off NE toward Marvel Peak about 3.3 km away (See Marvel) -- down 250' to the central lake, then up open treed slopes and a wide spine of rock toward the secondary summit (GR 015/341); instead of climbing to the apex at 8350', we traversed about 200' below and around this lower summit on the right (S) side and then dropped 300' down to a second col. Miserable scree led up to a stegosaurus ridge itself climbing up to the summit; but it was clear that the scrambling higher up on this ridge would be more demanding that we wished to deal with.

Instead we traversed on the S side of the peak around towers and down couloirs to a point where we could climb back up to our previous elevation; but here, especially with the...

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