Frontier Peak

August 23, 2015

2682m

Mt. Robson Provincial Park, BC

Among the 4 connecting peaks from Mt. Fitzwilliam to Mt. Clairvaux by Fitzwilliam Basin on the eastern edge of Mt. Robson Provincial Park, Frontier Peak is the lowest and the least interesting. Maury and I ascended its NW Ridge and descended the complex SE Ridge as part of our grand 4-peak traverse in one very long day. Earlier in the day as had already went up Mt. Fitzwilliam and then Bucephalus Peak.

The traverse route from Fitzwilliam to Clairvaux

The traverse route from Fitzwilliam to Clairvaux. GPX DL

The ascent of the NW Ridge from Bucephalus/Frontier col was nothing tricky – mostly Class 2 scrambling negotiating the endless boulder field. The boulders were little bigger near the summit and a few harder moves were required.

Frontier Peak seen from Bucephalus/Frontier col

Frontier Peak seen from Bucephalus/Frontier col

Near the summit of Frontier Peak

Near the summit of Frontier Peak

Looking back towards Bucephalus Peak

Looking back towards Bucephalus Peak

Maury approaching the summit

Maury approaching the summit

Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

Mt. Clairvaux where we'd go next

Mt. Clairvaux where we’d go next

Kataka Mountain is another major peak by Fitzwilliam Basin

Kataka Mountain is another major peak by Fitzwilliam Basin

Halloway Rock

Halloway Rock

Bucephalus Peak and Mt. Fitzwilliam

Bucephalus Peak and Mt. Fitzwilliam

Waddington Peak across Rockingham Creek

Waddington Peak across Rockingham Creek

Mt. Geikie

Mt. Geikie

This long ridge is Glacis Ridge

This long ridge is Glacis Ridge

Me on the summit of Frontier Peak

Me on the summit of Frontier Peak

Maury on the summit

Maury on the summit

The exciting part of reaching this summit was actually seeing the other side. At this point we had made the decision to extend our day all the way to Mt. Clairvaux so that meant we had to descend the SE Ridge towards the connecting col. Upon inspection we found no easy route down, but with Maury carefully leading and picking a line we managed to stay on “reasonable” ground. A few spots were pushing my limits a bit and felt like probably 5.5 and fairly exposed. There’s a chance we didn’t pick the easiest line down but from my limited observation I doubt there’s any easier route unless you want to do some lengthy side-hill detours with considerable amount of elevation regain.

Well, time to find a way down the opposite side... It all looked steep

Well, time to find a way down the opposite side… It all looked steep

One of the 5th class down-climbs

One of the 5th class down-climbs

More committing terrain but it's getting easier now

More committing terrain but it’s getting easier now

Another view of Kataka Mountain and the lakes by Fitzwilliam Basin

Another view of Kataka Mountain and the lakes by Fitzwilliam Basin

Looking back at Frontier Peak. We went down skier's right of the rib

Looking back at Frontier Peak. We went down skier’s right of the rib

Further along the ridge, looking back

Further along the ridge, looking back

Mt. Clairvaux ahead

Mt. Clairvaux ahead

So it took us a long while to safely negotiate the complex terrain, and now we were at Frontier/Clairvaux col. The ascent of Mt. Clairvaux didn’t look any harder than what we just did, but the full traverse of that peak turned out to be the real adventure on this day with solid pushing-through on sustained technical terrain.

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