10 Ram­part Routes

Gripped - - THE HUT - Gripped

The Ton­quin Val­ley is one of the most re­mote and quiet val­leys in the Cana­dian Rock­ies. One of the moun­tain ranges is called the Ram­parts and it has been the fo­cus of many climbers’ sum­mer trips over the past 50 years. The orig­i­nal hut in the area was built in 1930 af­ter the Ed­mon­ton sec­tion of the Alpine Club of Canada ( acc) ini­ti­ated the idea of a hut in that area. But af­ter 17 years the foun­da­tion gave way. The sec­ond hut was on Out­post Lake. In 1946, Cyril G. Wates, who was on the first as­cent of Mount Geikie, died and the hut was re­named Wates Memo­rial Hut. That hut had to soon be moved. Dur­ing the build­ing of the third hut in 1959, Rex Gib­son, once pres­i­dent of the acc, died in a climb­ing ac­ci­dent. The new struc­ture was fin­ished and re­named Wates-Gib­son Memo­rial Hut. The Ram­parts and the moun­tains around the Wates-Gib­son have some of the best quartzite climb­ing in the Rock­ies. Most of the routes are long tech­ni­cal alpine rock routes, but short cragstyle climbs have been estab­lished, though the de­tails are hard to find. The most fa­mous routes climb the north face of Mount Geikie, the high­est peak in the range, but con­di­tions are of­ten wet and snowy. In the sum­mer, the best ap­proach is along the As­to­ria River trail from Mount Edith Cavell about 18 km away. The hut sits at about 1,900 me­tres and is closed from Novem­ber to Fe­bru­ary 15 ev­ery year. The hut has a wood stove, propane oven, dishes, books, can sleep 26 up­stairs on foam mat­tresses and drink­ing water comes from the creek. Con­tact the acc to book the hut this sum­mer.— Bas­tion Peak East Face VI 5.7: A long glacier and rock route that fin­ishes on an amaz­ing rock but­tress. Dun­geon Peak East Face IV 5.7: A big rib route that fol­lows solid rock with great ex­po­sure. Re­doubt Peak East Face IV 5.7: A ris­ing but­tress above Amethyst Lakes that has some rock fall hazard. Mount Geikie South­east Face IV 5.5: A 1,500-me­tre route up an ob­vi­ous fea­ture that is not climbed as of­ten as it should be. Mount Geikie Lowe/Han­ni­bal VI 5.11a: The most sought af­ter route that has been climbed less than a dozen times. A solid 1,500-me­tre face. Oubli­ette Moun­tain East Ridge VI 5.7: The most climbed route in the Ton­qin Val­ley and one of the best ridge climbs in Western Canada. Paragon Peak East Ridge II 5.3: The clos­est route to the hut and a nice route that gets you up high. Ben­ning­ton Peak North Face IV 5.7: The glacier to reach this wall has many crevasses but the rock on the up­per wall is some of the best in the area. Out­post Peak South­west Peak II: A nice long moun­taineer­ing day up a glacier and long ridge. Mount Ere­bus North Ridge IV 5.6: A huge ris­ing ridge with solid rock and a few steep moves on the lighter bands of rock.

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