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Mount Columbia - in one day on skis
Timestamp Free: 2020.10.24 - 01:26:57
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges / Columbia Icefield
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 1500m
Participants: Jake Van Allen and Trent Beckham-Cross
Difficulty: 2: Crevasse danger and avalanche risk on the East Face of Columbia. Minimal risk on our trip as we traveled without rope.
Long haul to the second highest Rockies summit. No real difficulties apart from the mental struggle of foreshortening.
42 kilometers, 15 hours, multiple Red Bulls and no sleep for 36 hours were the stats on Columbia in a day.

[photo]ColumbiaApproach.jpg[caption]The objective. Forever further than it looks. The bootpack up the summit goes just to climber's right of the rocky face.[/photo]

We started off as a group of four and a plan that we would ski up onto the icefield, camp for the night and then attempt the peak on day two. As we drove through Revelstoke and continued to check weather, we came to the consensus that we probably only had one good day of weather - very good weather - before clouds and snow came in. So, we adjusted our plan, we decided to ditch the overnight stuff, drive to the base of the Athabasca glacier and get going right away - Columbia in a day. Our situation was not assisted by the fact that it was Friday evening at this point and we had all worked a full day. Oh well, no rest for the wicked.

Upon arrival at the glacier we stopped at the Icefields Discovery Centre and stripped down our bags. We all ended up with minimal gear - I managed all my stuff into a 22 litre day pack...a remarkable feat. We began moving around 2:00 a.m. and we were quick through the night up the glacier. No concerns when passing under Snow Dome seracs (I have been up the Athabasca multiple times and always think the objective danger of these is over stated) and easy travel up the ramp. There were minimal concerns of crevasse as we had good snow cover and cold temps, making for fast travel. We had roped up to come up the ramp but ditched the rope shortly thereafter as the upper icefield appeared solid.

[photo]ColumbiafromAfar.jpg[caption]First look at the objective.[/photo]

[photo]IcefieldSunrise.jpg[caption]It was a glorious morning with the sun rising on our backs. What a...

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