logo

Bident Mountain (Attempt)

Summit Elevation (m): 3084
Trip Date: Friday, July 27, 2007 to Saturday, July 28, 2007
Elevation Gain (m): 1200
Round Trip Time (hr): 18
Total Trip Distance (km): 16
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 5 – you fall, you die
Difficulty Notes: A fall on the crux would kill but then again we weren’t really on a very nice route. There has to be better ways to climb this sucker!
Technical Rating: MN9; YDS (5.4)
Map: Google Maps


The guide book is obviously out-of-date on these climbs, or at least the access to these climbs but in doing some research on the internet on Thursday night I was a bit more prepared for the actual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 Moraine 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!

Bident Mountain Attempt Route Map

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.

Starting the rock hopping along Consolation Lakes with the col (L), Bident and Quadra visible.
Alpine meadows beneath the col – visible at left of center here.
Ascending steep snow and horrid scree to the Bident Col.

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.

At our bivy on the east ridge of Bident Mountain.
An amazing sunrise from our bivy.

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 free 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!

Rapping the horribly loose east face of Bident Mountain.

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

Starting the rock hopping along Consolation Lakes.
Starting the rock hopping along Consolation Lakes.
Bident (L) and Quadra are impressive looking peaks.
Bident (L) and Quadra are impressive looking peaks.
Looking back at Kev and the last Consolation Lake.
Looking back at Kev and the last Consolation Lake.
JW with Panorama Ridge behind him.
JW with Panorama Ridge behind him.
Making our way to the distant col (L).
Making our way to the distant col (L).
Looking back across Consolation lakes towards Mount Temple.
Looking back across Consolation lakes towards Mount Temple.
Alpine meadows beneath the col.
Alpine meadows beneath the col.
Ascending steep snow and horrid scree to the Bident Col.
Ascending steep snow and horrid scree to the Bident Col.
Ascending steep snow and horrid scree to the Bident Col.
Ascending steep snow and horrid scree to the Bident Col.
At our bivy on the east ridge of Bident Mountain.
At our bivy on the east ridge of Bident Mountain.
Views towards Boom Mountain from our bivy.
Views towards Boom Mountain from our bivy.
An incredible sunrise from our bivy.
An incredible sunrise from our bivy.
Mount Bell (R).
Mount Bell (R).
Looking up at Kev's bivy spot and Bident rising above us.
Looking up at Kev's bivy spot and Bident rising above us.
An amazing sunrise from our bivy.
An amazing sunrise from our bivy.
My bivy - note the rocks to keep me from going over a cliff!
My bivy - note the rocks to keep me from going over a cliff!
This is the view from our bivy looking over the edge of the cliff.
This is the view from our bivy looking over the edge of the cliff.
Our bivy.
Our bivy.
A gloomy start to our day.
A gloomy start to our day.
The terrain we ascended up the manky NE ridge of Bident.
The terrain we ascended up the manky NE ridge of Bident.
Getting ready to climb!
Getting ready to climb!
Views over Consolation Lakes from the NE ridge of Bident.
Views over Consolation Lakes from the NE ridge of Bident.
That looks like a "no-go" for me!
That looks like a "no-go" for me!
We thought about traversing the glacier and taking the snow but...
We thought about traversing the glacier and taking the snow but...
Rapping the horribly loose east face of Bident Mountain.
Rapping the horribly loose east face of Bident Mountain.
Rapping the horribly loose east face of Bident Mountain.
Rapping the horribly loose east face of Bident Mountain.
The rope is stuck. Good times.
The rope is stuck. Good times.
The rope is stuck. Good times.
The rope is stuck. Good times.
Wild views of the NE ridge.
Wild views of the NE ridge.
Mount Bell.
Mount Bell.
Dealing with stuck ropes in less than ideal conditions.
Dealing with stuck ropes in less than ideal conditions.
Dealing with stuck ropes in less than ideal conditions.
Dealing with stuck ropes in less than ideal conditions.
Our perch on the NE ridge is exposed.
Our perch on the NE ridge is exposed.
Our perch on the NE ridge is exposed.
Our perch on the NE ridge is exposed.
Our perch on the NE ridge is exposed.
Our perch on the NE ridge is exposed.
Moody views over the Consolation Lakes.
Moody views over the Consolation Lakes.
The Tower of Babel in sunlight looking tiny at left.
The Tower of Babel in sunlight looking tiny at left.
Descending from the col towards Consolation Lakes.
Descending from the col towards Consolation Lakes.
Descending from the col towards Consolation Lakes.
Descending from the col towards Consolation Lakes.
Descending from the col towards Consolation Lakes.
Descending from the col towards Consolation Lakes.
Descending from the col towards Consolation Lakes.
Descending from the col towards Consolation Lakes.
Back in easier (and green!) terrain.
Back in easier (and green!) terrain.
A look back at the imposing NE ridge and north face of Bident.
A look back at the imposing NE ridge and north face of Bident.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.