Rudolph Peak (Lyell I)
June 26, 2015
Lyell/Mons Icefields, AB
Rudolph Peak, or commonly known as Lyell I, is the easternmost summit on Mt. Lyell massive. It’s slightly lower than its neighbours (II and III) but is the most impressive peak viewing from Alexandra River Valley to the NE. The ascent route is somewhat uninteresting. In snowier conditions it’s an easy snow climb from Lyell I/II col and in drier condition it’s a rock scramble along the edge. Vern, Ben and I did it as the 3rd objective on the first day of our Lyell Icefield peak-bagging trip, after successfully ascending Ernest Peak (Lyell III) and then Edward Peak (Lyell II).
As I said earlier, the climb was nothing more than a moderate/difficult scramble along the edge of the rock. We managed to stay mostly away from snow and ice and ditched all gears including our backpacks. In short time we arrived at the summit. Unfortunately a huge cornice partially obscured our views towards the front ranges.
Due to the lateness we didn’t linger any longer on the summit. After a short break at Lyell I/II col we started the descent. The slope underneath Lyell I/II col was a bit steeper and more involved than the one leading towards Lyell II/III col. We tried snowshoe down but soon had to switch gears to ice axe and crampons. There’s also a few ‘schrunds and large crevasses to avoid, as well as an avalanche/serac fall slide patch to cross over. Once down to the flat icefield we adjusted our bearing aiming towards our uptracks. It took a long time to rejoin the tracks and then it’s simply putting one foot in front of another. Once crossing over the broad shoulder of Lyell V we got treated with some of the best evening glow views with Mt. Forbes stealing the show – a truly spectacular moment.
Eventually we slogged back to the hut. The two major uphill slogs were extremely tiring towards the end and that concluded our 18-hour Day 1 of this trip. We basically combined two days in one so we were way ahead of schedule at this point. It’s already 10:30 pm and we hadn’t cooked dinners yet. Realistically we had to catch up some hours of sleep so didn’t wake up until the very unalpine 6 am. And the next day we firstly ascended the nearest peak – Christian Peak (Lyell V), and then crossed over the entire length of this icefield for Arctomys Peak.