Type: Sport, Alpine, 1000 ft (303 m), 13 pitches, Grade III
FA: Mountain Guide Eric Dumerac, Sid Cupido, Chad Casey, September 7 2012
Page Views: 19,195 total · 205/month
Shared By: Tom Jones on Sep 11, 2016 · Updates
Admins: Dave Rone, Tom Jones, Richard Rose

You & This Route


47 Opinions
Your To-Do List: Add To-Do ·
Your Star Rating:
Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty Rating:
-none- Change
Your Ticks:Add New Tick
-none-
Use onX Backcountry to explore the terrain in 3D, view recent satellite imagery, and more. Now available in onX Backcountry Mobile apps! For more information see this post.

Description Suggest change

Thanks Paul for the Topo and the trip report!

Rock and route: This is a fine route on dolomite rock up a striking spire. As an alpine rock route, there is still loose rock on ledges that could be knocked down onto a belayer. For the most part the rock is very sound. The route is entirely bolted. Most parties will complete the route in mountain boots perhaps putting on rock shoes for the crux pitch. The route is set up for 30 m rappels. The summit commands excellent views of the Rockies central group. When viewed from the road, the spire seems as it would be a long approach. However an existing trail to start and then linking up goat trails and ledges makes the approach very reasonable usually in under two hours. Enjoy!

P1: (6 bolts, 30 m, 5.6) From the gully trend up and right then left to the first bolt (10 m up). Follow bolts to a left facing corner and up over a groove/roof/ to a station on the left under a small dirt ledge.

P2: (5 bolts & past a rappel station, 45 m, 5.4) Climb straight up, past a left facing corner to the big ledge above. Continue past the ring-bolt rap station trending up and right to the next ledge and station. Watch for loose rocks on the ledge.

P3: (7 bolts, 40 m, 5.6) Climb the steep wall up and right gaining an arete. Continuing up a groove to belay at a rappel station on the right. There is a two bolt anchor another 7 m up at the base of the steep rock but the rap station provides better communication with your partner and better visibility to belay for the next pitch.

P4: (4 bolts, 25 m, 5.6) Locate the first hard to see bolt up and right of the alternate belay station in a black band of rock. Overcome the steep bit and keep trending up and right to a large ledge. Belay station is under the roof.

P5: (4 bolts, 20 m, A0 or 5.6 or 5.8 ) Climb up and left of the station past two bolts. At the third bolt traverse horizontally left past another bolt (use long slings) and climb up to a ledge and small overhang. Climb straight up for one 5.8 move, pull on the draw at A0 or risk the pendulum easily climbing off to the right of the bolt at 5.6 (recommended). Climb up to the next ledge and continue to a station. Use of a double length sling on the last bolt is recommended to reduce rope drag as the anchor is far right (especially if combining pitch 4 & 5).

P6: (1 bolt, 20 m, 5.2) Climb left of the station on easy rock past one bolt and straight up to a station found on the right hand side just below the ridge top.

P7: (3rd class. 70 m) Walk right of the anchor, behind the ridge and left (NW) until the main buttress, go around it on the left (W) to the base of a beautiful wall and bolt station facing the highway.

P8: (6 bolts, 28 m, 5.7) Climb up and left, then straight up to an alcove atop this perfect vertical rock wall.

P9: (4 bolts, 20 m, 5.6) Climb up the short awkward chimney gaining a massive sandy ledge and station on the right. Pitch 8 & 9 can be easily linked.

P10: (8 bolts, 25 m, 5.7/5.8) The crux of the route and one of the best pitches. Follow the groove, climbing the central wall with cracks on either side. Side step a roof by traversing left and come back right of the crack to a semi-hanging belay on the right. The second bolt on the left traverse is no higher than the first can be left unclipped to reduce rope drag.

P11: (6 bolts, 25 m, 5.6) Angle left up the groove then out right following bolts to a good ledge and station.

P12: (4 bolts, 25 m, 5.5) Climb up great rock with fantastic positions on the arete to a huge ledge and station. Pitch 11 & 12 are easily linked.

P13: (5 bolts, 50m, 5.5) Scramble up about 10 m to the first bolt and continue up to eventually move up and left around the arete climbing up a small slab, past ledges and a rappel station to another station on the summit.

Descent: Rappel the route.

1) Short 12 m rap from summit ring-bolts to next station.

2) 30 m rap back down and climber's right back around the arete to reach a good ledge. From here it is a scramble down about 8 m to reach the next anchor on the big ledge below.

3) 25 m rap to a station on a good ledge.

4) 20 m down to hanging station.

5) 20 m down to the massive sandy ledge.

6) Short rap climber's left back down the short chimney crack and alcove belay.

7) 28 m back down to the flat base of the upper mountain.

8) Walk back around the buttress to the left side of the flat ridge. Find the station on the right hand side at the end of the ridge.

9) 20 m - rappel down and climber's right to the ledge below and the station on the edge of the arete.

10) 20 m - From the edge station, rappel down to the next ledge and find the station hidden under the roof.

11) 25 m - Rap down to the flatter terrain and continue walking back to the ring bolts close to the edge.

12) 30 m overhanging rappel to a large ledge and rap station. Put knots in your rope! Warning - hard pull from the bottom here with lots of friction over the rock but the rope comes down!

13) 20 m rappel to the large ledge below - station is on the far climber's left side of the ledge.

13) 20 m rappel to the pitch 2 ring bolt station, small dirt ledge - directly below.

14) 28 m rap to the ground, follow the cairns home.

Location Suggest change

Park in the pull out on the West side of HWY 93 North in front of Hector Ck. (Hector Lake 82N9 UTM: 479/172) 20 minutes North of Lake Louise. Cross the road and on the right (South) side of the drainage pick up the trail for Mt. Hector.
Follow the easy trail through the forest, up the left side of an avalanche bowl to the top of the waterfall (45 min - 1 hour).

Cross to the other side of the creek (South side) at the top of the waterfall and make your way to the little hanging valley between Mt. Andromache and Little Hector. Mt. Hector seen behind Little H. Looking towards the North, spot the towers connected to Mt. Andromache. Follow cairns towards the two tiered tree island, thence several cairns and goat trails will lead one up and left via a series of benches. The cairns will take you scrambling up an easy gully gaining bigger upper benches. Atop these upper benches, cross left (North West) across a bowl (big boulder) and follow the steps of a dry watercourse within the basin to gain the base of the towers. Follow the base of the towers until in the farthest left bowl (do not keep go around highway side).

Warning: It is easy to mistaken the right hand tower as being Achilles Spire. Achilles Spire has a small crumbly tower to its left, a prominent very pointy tower to its right and narrowing drainages/chimney on each side of it. A large black roof near the right drainage/chimney is a good landmark for Achilles start, the central tower. Make your way up the basin to the base of Achilles Spire.

Start: Below and left of the big black roof with white rock below are smaller overlapping overhangs and a one bolt station at a small scruffed out ledge. (45 min -1 hour from top of waterfall - 1.5 - 2 hours from road)

Protection Suggest change

Equipment: 60 meter rope, 10 draws, mountain boots, headlamp.

Fully bolted

Photos

loading