5.6 Mod. Snow
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BETA PHOTO: MOUNT BRYCE
One of the best ridge traverses in the Canadian Rockies. Outram's guide, Christian Kaufmann, was climbing at his limit and basically soloed the crux. The 1902 party approached up the Alexandria River to a camp at Cinema Lake. The central peak was bypassed to the south.
The Bush River Road begins near Donald, BC. Turn onto the Rice Brook Road at the 98 kilometer sign. Four kilometers of increasingly bad road lead to the decommissioning closure. Good 4wd will shorten the hike. The last roadside campsites are off on a short spur near the 68 kilometer sign.
Hiking the old road is tougher than a trail because it was dug up and is getting vegetated. After a few kilometers an old bridge site is reached. Easier crossing may be found at bit upstream. Two more kilometers of overgrown road are followed to a moraine crossing. Another kilometer of logging track leads to the end of the logging. Then a cross-country climb of 3,500 feet is required to reach the crest of the Northeast Ridge at 9,600'.
The ridge is used to traverse two sub-summits, the Northeast and Central peaks, on the way to the top of Mount Bryce. The Northwest Peak is the true summit (11'506).
The crux climbs a step on the ridge of the Northeast Peak. A 25 meter pitch up a smooth gray buttress, 5.6. Easier snow and rock complete the climb of the Northeast Peak.
The second false summit, the Central Peak, is tackled directly up it's northeast ridge too. The Central Peak can be dodged by traversing glacier on the south side of the ridge.
The final northeast ridge of the Northwest Peak climbs almost 1,000' to the summit. Several roped pitches can be done to the top. Getting around the spectacular cornices is best done with good front-points, two tools, long screws and snow pickets.