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Mount Forbes West Ridge via Glacier Lake
Timestamp Free: 2019.04.20 - 03:40:09
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
  (3 days)
Participants: Tara Szkorupa, Adrian Rothwell and Andrew McLeod
Difficulty: 4: Alpine Grade III, snow and ice to 40+ degrees
Approach and route beta from a summer 2006 ascent of Mt Forbes via Glacier Lake
Mount Forbes: the highest peak in Banff National Park, one the 11,000ers, a classic high glacier ascent. Obviously lots of reasons to make the journey. I had understood it was a popular peak but on the August long weekend we were happy to find ourselves alone on the mountain.

We begin this journey at the Glacier Lake Trailhead north of Saskatchewan River Crossing where three questions were bugging us. 1) Should we have brought mountain bikes for the approach? 2) Do we wear the big boots or carry them in and wear the comfy approach shoes instead? And 3) How many ice axes and screws do we really want to haul in there? [photo]bivy.jpg[caption]Bivy site near the North Glacier. The summit is white tip in the background[/photo]

In answer to number 1, this is a national park trail where mountain bikes are not permitted. We didn't bring the bikes with us but I had been told by an old friend that they would be nice on the trip out to give those aching knees a rest. As it turned out, I'm not sure bikes would have been a great benefit anyway, especially with a big pack on the back, but most importantly, the national parks get enough abuse without us adding to the unruliness.

In answer to number 2. The approach shoes were the way to go as this is a long trail and comfortable feet for the 40km+ of marching in and out goes a long way in my book.

In answer to number 3, read on.

The Approach: The trail is long and boring but luckily it is relatively flat and the kms tick by fast. It is about 9km to Glacier Lake where the trail takes to the north shore and keeps heading west. It is about another 4.5km to the end of the lake and then another 5km or so to the Mons Icefield outlet stream and the ford of the Glacier River that is required to access Mt....

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