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An Ascent of Queens Peak
Timestamp Free: 2019.05.23 - 10:26:40
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
(1 days) Elevation Gain: 1375m
Participants: Rick Collier, John Adams, Enrique Canto, Clayton Annis
Difficulty: 5: Steep snow -- crampons and belays advisable; rock climbing to 5.5
This report provides details on what may be the third or fourth ascent of Queens Peak by the NW ridge
We four - Rick Collier, John Adams, Enrique Canto, & Clayton Annis -- left the ACC camp about 5:00am by headlamp and made quick work of the now all-too-familiar headwall; fortunately, I had taken a modest rest day on the second, with only a reasonable rekky with Jeff Dickson under my belt, so I was in pretty good shape and great spirits. And all of us were looking forward to a fine adventure this day - a possible third or fourth ascent of Queens Peak, during which we would use several GPS devices to determine if this mountain might actually be a member of the 11,000' canon or if it was, as various guidebooks suggest, merely a very high ten-thousander. In any case, we were convinced that it was a separate peak from Alexandra (which it is quite close to) and not just an associated spur or horn. We would also determine if there might be an easier route up this imposing peak than the standard NW ridge, such as the south ridge connecting to Alexandra.
We reached the scree trail around the outskirts of Coral Peak just as dawn was splashing colour on Whiterose (See Whiterose) and Cockscomb to the west. We circumvented Coral easily and then dropped down to the frozen neve of the lower West Alexandra Glacier, where we donned our crampons and roped up. Then a fast ascent in perfect conditions to the glacial bowl, which we crossed in a matter of minutes. During this crossing we had our first major views of the great Queens-Alexandra rampart and our ascent route (See Queens1 and Queens2).
This brought us to the steep snow slopes under the dark and imposing NW cliffs of Alexandra; we were hoping to use these as a shortcut to the regular route, which ascends Fresnoy and then backtracks along the lengthy SE connector ridge between that peak...
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