It has been a long time since my last post and a lot of great adventures have happened but let’s focus on the present. I’m now living and working in Revelstoke BC and the Selkirk Mountains. I climbed Mount MacDonald the other day, what a fantastic climb. The quality was right up there with the Lower Exum Ridge on the Grand Teton or an ice free version of Chamonix’s Frendo Spur.
Trip: Mount Macdonald, Rogers Pass, BC – Northwest Ridge Integral D+ 5.8

Date: 6/16/2013

Trip Report:
If you fancy long alpine ridge climbs with short approaches, you might enjoy Mt. Macdonald’s Northwest ridge. We certainly did.

The NW Ridge is gained via 600m of easy snow climbing up the Herdman Couloir, before a rising traverse of 4th and easy 5th class climbing leads to the upper of two “prominent notch”(es) of the Northwest ridge. From here, follow the ridge of good to excellent quality quartzite to the summit roughly 1000m later.

Approaching with the Trans Canada Highway below.

Alpine Quartzite.

The upper headwall seen from the Promenade Ledge. The NW ridge climbs the right skyline.


It looks like this at it’s base


This was a nice pitch.


The summit pyramid.

Alpine splendor:

Syndicate Peak and the Dawson Range behind


Mt Tupper, the Swiss Peaks, Mt Rogers and more alpine splendor.

Despite being the birthplace of North American mountaineering and widely known as a winter destination, the Rogers Pass sees surprisingly little alpinist traffic.

I’ve climbed a fair amount of moderate alpine routes, both in North America and in the alps, and I can say confidently that this route is in my top 10.

Gear Notes:
There is a fantastic new guidebook for the pass- “Rogers Pass Alpine Guide” by David P Jones .
This is the “Centennial Edition” to the original 1912 guidebook to the Selkirk Mountains by Wheeler and Parker which was North America’s First mountaineering guidebook.

Approach Notes:
From the picnic area just West of the Westernmost snowshed, travel downstream (East) 75m past the outhouse and find a gun position for winter avalanche control. From here descend to Connaught creeka and cross via a downed spruce spanning the torrent. Continue East and eventually uphill following a rocky stream bed to reach the Herdman Couloir.