High above Moraine lake sits Mt. Fay. Looking southwest of the lake, the alpine ice routes running down the north face just begged to be climbed. There are routes going up every side of the mountain, from classic north face grade III ice climbs to the technical Sans Blitz (V 5.5 WI 7).
From the parking lot east of the lake, take the tourist trail to the back of the lake and follow the climbers trail to either the Perren route or the Shiessler Ledge route to the Neil Colgan hut if spending the night or do as the locals say, Fay in a Day!
I have only made the approach using the Perren route, so I can only describe that one here: After the boardwalk ends, at the west end of the lake, continue on a climbers trail after crossing the creek that feeds moraine lake. The trail will take you into a boulderfield with a medial moraine ahead and right, and a large wall ahead and left. Head towards the wall and pick up the trail again. This is what you will be following the rest of the way up. The trail heads up onto a ledge system, follow the cairns and the most worn-out looking path to a chimney about a third of the way up the slope (an anchor is above to rap on the way down). An easy scramble through this leads to another ledge system to a nice steady hill climb. Eventually you will come to a vertical wall with a chain hanging down it. Without using the chain, I thought it was a hard 5.7 (did it in the dark) and using the chain for holds, it's still a grunt with a large pack on. This chain, 8 or so meters long takes you to a set of bolts, which lead to a bolted traverse. At the end of the traverse (where you rap the cliff from) scramble up another 20 meters to the bench before the edge of the glacier. Before you reach the glacier there are camping spots, which can be very windy at times, but you can find a water source. Head southwest up the glacier to the hut or continue on to Mt. Fay, whichever path the crevasses allow.
It is said that the other approach route has potential rock fall hazard, and is only recommended in cold weather.
The second biggest strip of ice from the east (left) side of the mountain. Cross the 'shrund at the place of most convenience for you and start climbing this calf burner. The ice starts out at a low angle and ramps up the higher you climb, up to about 60/70 degrees depending on which line you take. There may be a cornice on the top, and definitely watch for rocks falling down along the sides of the route. When I did the route we simulclimbed all but the last vertical section, which definite...[more]Browse More Classics in International