Mt Hector

Banff Yoho Kootenay

jake.finnan , Sunday 5th May, 2024 1:20PM

Mt. Hector - May 4, 2024. Skied and climbed to the summit of Mt Hector yesterday. Great weather, -4c ish to begin, a good freeze, mostly clear skies with a bit of clouds, -7c at the summit with some wind. Snow held up very well, softened up lower down for the ski out. Ski quality was good for most of the route, a few spots of wind crust and temp crusts but was pleasantly surprised overall how good it was. Coverage overall was good to great, could ski right to the ditch. 250cm at 2600m. Had to remove skis in the waterfalls section for just a few meters because it was pretty narrow but coverage was great. It won't last long down low, however. Crevasses were a non issue, all avoided easily if you travel away from Little Hector which you should do anyway to avoid cornices (cornices were not very big on this day). Found dry snow above 2500m, melt freeze below. As for the summit block, it was quite a bit harder than we were expecting and took a long time to figure it out. Lots of recent beta made it seem like it was gonna be a bit more straightforward than we encountered, maybe we're just crappy climbers. Took us a long time and multiple attempts to get up it, with crampons and axes. I would say *most* people are gonna want protection here, and to rappel it. We did not find a place to insert cams unless you had those silly huge ones. There appeared to be another feasible way to the right that was even more committing and exposed and didn't look easier, maybe that was the best way, not sure, looked harder and more risky. There was a fixed cord attached to a dynamic rope left behind that was attached high up and was barely useful and questionable. Use at your own risk. I climbed this mountain in 2018 and it was very straightforward, it no longer is due to glacial recession, and will only get worse over the years. I fixed the bolted station that was missing a nut/washer thanks to beta on here that said it was missing hardware. It was 3/8" with metric coarse threads, which seems like the most common bolted anchor setup found in the Rockies, this info may help someone. The one I installed may rust eventually? If someone wants to bring a high end stainless one next time it would be worth the dollar or 2. The hardware in place seemed to be of higher quality than my cheap nut. This bolted station is directly above the crux move, there was another one just below the summit proper that was in great shape. A great day out on classic ski mountaineering objective that was a lot tougher than six years ago on the summit block and will only get harder. Hopefully this report is useful to some. 14.5KM 1600m gain 9.5 hours.

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN