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Stanley peak, N Face, Kahl route
Timestamp Free: 2020.11.25 - 00:07:26
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
(2 days) Elevation Gain: 1600m
Participants: Ian Hunt, Peter Lloyd, Paul Masiar, Keith Sanford, John Greco, Ken Lee, Steffen L
Difficulty: 5: Glacier travel with large crevasses, steep snow or ice to 50 degrees, rappel on descent. Alpine grade III.
Mt Stanley is infamous for "epics" for which the "Alpine book of Lies" is partly to blame (vague details, "short"). The keys to a non-epic are the right bivy site and the descent.
From the Stanley glacier trailhead on #93 south, follow the trail to the "end of the hiking trail" sign. From there, a tree island ledge in the middle of the valley is visible. This is a common, pleasent bivy spot as it gives access to the east end of the Stanley glacier. Many parties bivy there. However, the Kahl route is at the opposite end of the glacier and there is an alternate (recommended) bivy site. Head towards the tree island following the trail to the R side (W) of the tree island. This takes you towards the cliff band on the R side of the valley. The magnificent waterfall that becomes Nemesis in the winter plummets over these cliffs. As you near the tree island, the cliff band reduces to nothing, pick up a faint trail (cairned) that traverses the scree ledge above the cliffs. Follow this until almost above Nemesis then follow the cairns and scramble up a small cliff onto flat rock ledges. Gradually gain a little height and head slightly left to bivy a great bivy site on flat rocks with a small stream and a convienient cooking ledge (about 2.75 hr). No need for tent pegs, as the tent has to go up on rock slabs.
From the bivy site it is a short scramble up small steps and scree to the toe of the glacier. Rope up here and climb the steep ice of the glacier. Once it levels out, it is probably better to head to the right side (W) up towards the N face. We went left and had to navigate some significant crevasses.
From the base of the face, kick steps up the snow zigzagging to avoid the crevasses then angle L to head up the face to the left of the rock band that comes in from the NW ridge. There is a potential for rock fall in the lower part of the face from the cliffs on the R and in the middle of the face from the cliffs above. Once to the L of the cliff...
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