Many people get their first technical summit on the third day of the Yam course, climbing Mount Athabasca. Those in my class were forced to settle for Wilcox Peak (a scramble in summer) when rain put Athabasca out of condition. Over the years to follow, I planned at various times to take part in climbs of Athabasca, Castleguard Mountain, the President, and the Vice-President, all technical climbs within the reach of a beginner. If you've read my earlier trip reports, you will know that a variety of circumstances put every one of these beyond my grasp, with problems ranging from forgotten sunglasses to stomach upsets and bad route conditions. The closest I came was the summit of Boundary Peak, which we ascended using a technical glacier route, but which can be climbed (with more difficulty) by the nontechnical route we used to descend, so it doesn't quite count.
In fact, it seemed I was becoming a good luck/bad luck charm. If I was along on the trip, and fell behind or stayed at base camp for some reason, everyone else made the summit. If I stuck with the group, we all had to turn back.
Not quite ready to admit defeat despite the encroachments of age (I turned 62 in June), I signed up for a Grant MacEwan Mountain Club beginner mountaineering trip based on the ACC Bow Hut, under the capable leadership of Rick Checkland and Kelly Sloan. Although the other three participants had only slightly more experience than I, they all had at least one technical summit to their... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)