Androlumbia (Unnamed 3330)

April 19, 2015

3330m

Columbia Icefield, AB

The nickname “Androlumbia” was assigned to the unnamed 3330-meter summit immediately SW of Mount Andromeda by my friend, Rafel Kazmierczak a couple years ago. In my opinion it adequately describes this peak as close to Mt. Andromeda but also part of the Columbia Icefield, so I’ll use this name. This is not an impressive peak by size compared with its neighbours, but is listed as a near-11,000er in Bill Corbett’s 11,000ers book and is a sexy-looking objective viewing from the S. Ridge of Mt. Andromeda. After finishing the ascent I also realized it offers probably one of the most enjoyable ski runs on the Columbia. The climb isn’t easy neither and involves numerous crevasses as well as a corniced summit ridge. So in the end I think it deserves more attention.

Ascent route of Snow Dome and "Androlumbia"

Ascent route of Snow Dome and “Androlumbia”

This wasn’t our original plan in this past weekend but after successfully finishing Mt. Columbia and then Snow Dome, Ben, Vern and I found ourselves short on energy and time. Our original plan was for Vern to climb Mt. Andromeda but after some discussions we redirected our attention to this peak. It’s overall much shorter than Andromeda so even by starting at 4:30 pm we’d still have plenty of daylight time to climb it. Since Vern didn’t do Snow Dome he’d have plenty of energy breaking trail all the way up to the summit ridge. There really wasn’t anything tricky up there but we picked a nice line up relatively in the middle of the direct face and managed to avoid the crevasses.

Just about to leave camp. "Androlumbia" ahead

Just about to leave camp. “Androlumbia” ahead

The initial ascent was very gradual

The initial ascent was very gradual

Looking back revealing some neat view of the seracs

Looking back revealing some neat view of the seracs

At this point the route follows the same as Andromeda's ski route

At this point the route follows the same as Andromeda’s ski route

BOOM. A piece of serac broke on Snow Dome

BOOM. A piece of serac broke on Snow Dome

Higher up it got steeper

Higher up it got steeper

We passed by one huge crevasse

We passed by one huge crevasse

I took over the lead once the snow got crustier and icier as we ditched skis and started bootpacking. The summit ridge was not difficult but did require caution not venturing too close to the edge. There were enormous cornices hanging on the east side. It was also a bit longer than expected but with the gorgeous late-afternoon view none of us was complaining and we all agreed it totally worth the effort.

Ben and Vern ascending the upper slope. The S. Ridge of Andromeda behind

Ben and Vern ascending the upper slope. The S. Ridge of Andromeda behind

Vern arriving at the summit, with Snow Dome behind

Vern arriving at the summit, with Snow Dome behind

Panorama of Columbia Icefield from the summit. Click to view large size.

Panorama of Columbia Icefield from the summit. Click to view large size.

Mt. Amery to Willeval Peak highline traverse is in sight!

Mt. Amery to Willeval Peak highline traverse is in sight!

Mt. Alexandra is the high peak on left; Mt. Spring-Rice is on right

Mt. Alexandra is the high peak on left; Mt. Spring-Rice is on right

Castleguard Mountain is the tiny one in foreground. Cockscomb Mountain in center background

Castleguard Mountain is the tiny one in foreground. Cockscomb Mountain in center background

The majestic Mt. Bryce

The majestic Mt. Bryce

Mt. Saskatchewan

Mt. Saskatchewan

Mt. Cline in the distance

Mt. Cline in the distance

The might Mt. Forbes

The might Mt. Forbes

The Lyells

The Lyells

A closer look at Bryce's N. Face.

A closer look at Bryce’s N. Face.

Mt. Sir Sandford in the distance - highest peak in Selkirks

Mt. Sir Sandford in the distance – highest peak in Selkirks

Mt. Bryce again. Obviously we'd need the best weather and condition to climb it.

Mt. Bryce again. Obviously we’d need the best weather and condition to climb it.

Our first objective - Mt. Columbia

Our first objective – Mt. Columbia

Behind the shoulder of Snow Dome we could see South Twin

Behind the shoulder of Snow Dome we could see South Twin

Another panorama of Columbia Icefield from the summit. Click to view large size.

Another panorama of Columbia Icefield from the summit. Click to view large size.

Me on the summit

Me on the summit

And for the most important, we’d have a fantastic ski run back down the glacier. The snow condition was very good for skiing and this was one of the few times that I actually (by heart) enjoyed skiing, even though I was already very beat at this point. It took us very little time to get back to camp.

Leaving the summit behind

Leaving the summit behind

Mt. Andromeda's south side

Mt. Andromeda’s south side

Behind Sunwapta Peak on the left skyline are Brazeau/Warren group

Behind Sunwapta Peak on the left skyline are Brazeau/Warren group

Charlton/Unwin and Mary Vaux are giants in Maligne area

Charlton/Unwin and Mary Vaux are giants in Maligne area

Vern skiing down "Androlumbia"

Vern skiing down “Androlumbia”

Bryce and Columbia Icefield

Bryce and Columbia Icefield

Can't get rid of this peak...

Can’t get rid of this peak…

Ben and Columbia Icefield

Ben and Columbia Icefield

Looking back at our run

Looking back

Looking back at our tracks on Androlumbia

Looking back at our tracks on Androlumbia

Just after we got back we realized a crow came and ate most of my food… I guess next time I wouldn’t be lazy to just leave them outside… There was still some daylight time left to hang around camp. The night was not cold and the ski-out on the following day was again, fast and fun. The ski-out was written in my Mount Columbia’s trip report.

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