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The East Face of Midgard
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.22 - 08:24:04
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Selkirk Mountains / Valhalla Ranges / Valhalla Range / Mulvey Group
Participants: Doug Brown, Rene LeBel Moderate snow, rock to 5.5.
An account of an ascent of the East Face of Midgard - 3 roped pitches to 5.5.
On a beautiful and sunny Saturday July 15, 2006, Rene LeBel and I climbed the East Face of Midgard Peak 34 years after Bert, Howie, and Peter first climbed it. For me, the day started with a couple hours of wind sprints trying, in vain, to keep up with Monsieur LeBel. We reached the Gimli bivi site in 1:20 with me coughing up bits of lung as we stopped for a wee break, as I think Rene feared I was about to have a coronary. We continued around to the Gimli-Nisleheim col and descended a short distance down on the north side, from where we traversed to the Nisleheim-Midgard col. From the col we followed Midgard's SE ridge up for a bit before skirting around on a cairned ledge on the south side that delivered us to the base of scramble section of the SE ridge. Here we traversed north across moderate snow to under the middle-right of the east face.
The route was easy to find - the highest snow ended directly below a very obvious light-coloured left-facing corner in the middle-right of the face. See Midgard Peak from the beach at Mulvey Lake. We scrambled up a short corner that proved harder than it looked - Rene educated me in the fine art of dry-tooling - to a big ledge where we had some more food before roping up.
Seeing as Rene had the hardest leads of our last two climbs, I gave him the first lead this time as it looked easy. Beautifully clean slabs of wonderfully textured and decorated Valhalla gneiss led to the base of the aforementioned corner, which Rene climbed for 20 m to a belay stance under a big roof - the pitch was fun, but harder than I thought it had looked.
I took over the rack as I looked up at the roof overhead that had suddenly grown to an enormous size - and I seriously questioned my sense of fair play. Rene, the joker he is, told...
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