May 8, 2015
Columbia Icefield, AB
The two summits of Stutfields (Main and NE) are nothing more than rounded snow humps on the northern end of Columbia Icefield, and yet, they’re listed as two separated 11,000ers. Even for just that reason they’re on my peak-bagging list but I don’t consider them as something I “have to climb”. With a week-long high pressure system building up in this early May, obviously the Stutfields were not the primary objectives when Vern, Kevin, Ben and I hauled 5 days’ supply to Columbia Icefield’s northern branch. The planning and approach is written in the trip report of my #1 priority, South Twin, while the return is written in my #2 priority, Twins Tower‘s trip report.
After a night of snow storm blizzard, we woke up under clear sky on the 2nd day of this expedition. As wished everybody was hoping to ascend the 4 Twins as early as we could but given the amount of fresh snow (at least 10 cm) and the gusting wind blowing all night long we decided it’s probably a safer choice to ascend the Stutfields and Cromwell first. To get either Stutfield NE or Mt. Cromwell one must ascend up and over the main summit of Stutfield Peak first, hence it’s the first peak bagged in this trip. We easily ski’d to Stutfield Col on some rolling terrain and from there on it’s nothing fancy. There’s one steep slope to ascend near a rocky band that I led a diagonal traversing line towards climber’s right, and after that it was an easy, albeit foreshortening slog up the gentle snow slope to the summit of my 21st 11,000er.
The wind was cold and strong in this morning. We were also aware it’s going to be a long day ahead, so didn’t stay any longer than necessary on this summit, but immediately focusing on our next objective, Mount Cromwell.