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Topic "Bident and Quadra (1 of 8)" started by Jason Wilcox on Jul-21-2007

Topic: Bident and Quadra (1 of 8)
Author: Jason Wilcox
Date: Saturday, July 21, 2007 08:20 PM

Just got home from an attempt on Bident and Quadra.
Probably the worst weather I've experienced in the mtns this year so far. We got to a high bivy around 1900 and it started dumping shortly after. Rained all night until it petered off a little at 0600. So we got up, and had a go at Bident... but the rain was intermittent and visibility not so great, so we turned around.

Note that the snow up high is melting fast and is mostly gone, but what is left is totally bomber.

The "prominent gully" described in Selected Alpine Climbs does NOT go anymore. We suspect glacial recession is to blame, but it was quite cliffy in the gully with waterfalls galore. We bashed all the way to Consolation Pass instead and then up the ridge to the highpoint off Bident and stayed the night there. The ridge up to where you can traverse to the glacier is a loose 5.4 or so, and I only managed to find one decent crack to put a nut in. But I guess that's what I get for trusting the guidebook and only carrying a few nuts and pins cause we figured maybe we'd just kick steps up this snow gully....
Anyway, if you go for this approach, be forewarned about the shape of the gully and note that it adds significant distance and time hiking to Consolation pass and climbing the rock on the ridge to get to the hanging glacier. We did find some good pitons on the ridge for use as a belay/rap station though.

I'm sure Vern will post a trip report sometime, but this is it for me - broke my camera so you won't see any pics from me for a while...

Jason Wilcox

Topic: Bident and Quadra (2 of 8)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Sunday, July 22, 2007 02:00 PM

Like JW already wrote - we had an unsuccessful w/e attempt at Bident / Quadra.

The guide book is obviously out-of-date on these climbs, or at least the access to these climbs but in doing some research on the internet on Thursday night I was a bit more prepared for the actual difficulty. Both Rick Collier (bivouac.com) and Alan Kane indicated quite clearly that they consider these two mountains difficult. If Collier considers something "difficult", I won't take it too lightly! :-)

I don't have too much to add to JW's account except that our trip even started out on a sour note when we were an hour late getting to Morraine Lake because of a shut down on the trans Canada highway. Some trips are over before they even start and this one definitely had that feel to it for some reason!

I should point out that I think JW would have been keen to at least give Bident a try but I was having second thoughts considering the cold, wet weather and my inexperience at traversing steep snow/ice above a gaping crevasse (!) and Kev wasn't too excited about down climbing into the schrund in a whiteout so that's how we came to the decision to back off the route.

There were some successes though. We managed to bivy (no tents) at 9,000 feet in pouring rain and not get cold. We managed to climb some very loose / slippery 5.4 terrain (JW was once again the hero on a basically unprotected lead) in the rain. The terrain was so loose that rocks would come down either on their own or with the slightest nudge. Both Kev and I got some damage from rockfall and there were a bunch of very close misses.

We also learned to make sure our rappel anchor was hanging well over the lip of the rappel. JW climbed back up the rope twice after our rappel to unstick the ropes. The first time it was just caught on something (the terrain was really broken up) but the second time the rope couldn't even get through the rappel anchor (tied off cord) because it was caught between the anchor and the edge of the rappel terrain. We pulled on that rope with three guys and couldn't get it down! JW climbed all the way up our rappel route, again basically unprotected because of the horrible rock, and rescued the rope!

It was a great alpine experience for me, even though it was disappointing to come up so short on our objectives.


Vern Dewit

Topic: Bident and Quadra (3 of 8)
Author: Jason Wilcox
Date: Sunday, July 22, 2007 02:41 PM

Great photos Vern!

I can't help but smile while I look at them and remember what a ridiculous time we had, but I had a lot of fun and am just glad we got to try out the bivy sacks in the rain and they worked quite well!

Jason Wilcox

Topic: Bident and Quadra (4 of 8)
Author: Mountain Ninja
Date: Sunday, July 22, 2007 05:33 PM

What a coincidence, Jason! I broke my camera today as well. It fell down the east face of the Fortress and broke into a thousand pieces. I lost the desire to scramble up Gusty and Chester after that. I`m glad most of my pictures from Mt. Lougheed were on a seperate memory card, otherwise I would have lost it too.

Congrats on your Quadra attempt. Looks like you had a good time, despite the bad weather. Fantastic shots as always, Vern!

Topic: Bident and Quadra (5 of 8)
Author: Bill Kerr
Date: Sunday, July 22, 2007 08:49 PM

Good try guys. This is what trips were like before the internet and all of the great up to date info and pics. Success rates were lower but hey you got some good experience and had some fun.


Topic: Bident and Quadra (6 of 8)
Author: Dow Williams
Date: Monday, July 23, 2007 04:46 PM

Jayson, don't feel bad...we drove up to the foot of Edith, got out of the car, and starred into the abyss, got back in, enjoyed a bear and her cubs and returned to Canmore at 3:AM...slept and got in a route on old reliable Yam. Jo and I got up Sunday at 3:AM, went for Birdwood, Lizzies Ridge, got out of the car, starred into the abyss and then crossed the street to do Gusty instead, my last Spray Lakes scramble. Such is life, welcome back to the Canadian Rockies eh? Peter and I are giving East Ridge of Temple a go Thursday....heading for Silver Ghost tomorrow...hope this current system holds...cheers

Topic: Bident and Quadra (7 of 8)
Author: Antri Zhu
Date: Monday, July 23, 2007 06:27 PM

nice pictures of the bivy site and sun peeking through the clouds Vern, that looks like a lot of work to get to the bivy site. Hope the weather will be better for your groups next alpine adventure.

Topic: Bident and Quadra (8 of 8)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Monday, July 23, 2007 06:40 PM

Thanks Antri! Yeah - it was a bit of work... :-) Ah well. A nice way to burn some calories and test the bivy setup. :-|

Vern Dewit