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Fryatt, Mount

Summit Elevation (m): 3358
Trip Date: August 26 2012
Elevation Gain (m): 2200
Round Trip Time (hr): 36
Total Trip Distance (km): 32
Quick ‘n Easy Rating: Class 5 – You fall you are dead
Difficulty Notes: Typical Rockies 11000er with loose access slopes and icy gullies, some decent 5.4 climbing on grippy limestone and then more loose rock to the summit. Did I mention loose rock?
Technical Rating: MN9; YDS (5.4)
GPS Track: Download
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On August 25 / 26 2012 I joined Kevin Barton, Eric Coulthard and Ferenc Jasco for a trip up Mount Fryatt in Jasper National Park. This mountain has been on my radar for a number of years due to its remoteness and the beautiful bivy site that was rumored to exist under the SW face. When Raf climbed Fryatt back in 2009 I was quite disappointed that I couldn’t join him. I waited patiently for three years and made my ascent in perfect conditions. Sometimes I get the sense that I’m rushing to complete peaks – this trip proved once again that it’s the journey that counts – not the summit. The hike in along all the Geraldine lakes was also very appealing to me. I’ve never done the other route up the Fryatt valley but the Geraldine Lakes route is just that – more of a ‘route’ than a ‘trail’ in places, but much shorter distance-wise and extremely scenic.

Mount Fryatt Route Map

The Approach

We approached the base of the SW face on Saturday, August 25. After a long drive to the not-so-obvious trailhead we geared up and started up a muddy approach trail to the first Geraldine Lake. The entire route past the five Geraldine Lakes and up to the alpine meadows north of Fryatt was gorgeous, but a bit under-developed (not really a bad thing). The two images that stand out most in my mind from the approach hike is “boulders” and “mud”. It’s one of the most beautiful areas I’ve been to in the Rockies. Wild flowers were still blooming but a month ago it must have been stunning with carpets of endless flowers everywhere!

At the first lake the trail follows the lake shore closely.

Towering peaks reflected their brooding faces in the crystal clear lakes while loons and bubbling streams added a symphony to a landscape that is truly remarkable and unique. Like anything worthwhile though, you have to work for it. Reaching the fifth and final Geraldine Lake takes determination, some scars (from boulders and trees) and route finding. Not making our lives any easier was the recent snow / rain that continued to fall on the first half of our approach, making the quartzite boulder hopping around the third Geraldine Lake very slick and somewhat disconcerting.

After the first lake we arrive at a much smaller lake – presumably the “second” lake. This is the view of the waterfall at the end of it, coming down from the third Geraldine Lake.

We were a little bit disappointed in the weather. Light rain showers made the boulders slick and worse, there was a considerable dusting of fresh snow up high on the local peaks. The sun started to shine more and more throughout the day and our spirits lifted with each ray of its warmth. We hoped that the snow up high was melting fast enough to ensure dry pitches of climbing the next day.

Looking back over the 3rd Geraldine Lake with Geraldine Peak rising on the left.

As we made our way up to the fourth Geraldine Lake the wild flowers started coming out in full force. We had a few moments of searching for a route across the outlet stream of the fourth lake, but we all managed to cross without taking our boots off. Some of us were drier than others after this effort. Hiking around the fourth lake with Fryatt looming above us was quite spectacular. With fresh snow, the north face / ridge looked fairly intimidating but it was exciting to know that I’d finally be up there in less than 12 hours after waiting many years for this opportunity.

The gorgeous fourth Geraldine Lake where we crossed the outlet stream. Fryatt in the clouds – we’re hoping it’s drying off!

We wanted to reach so-called “Iceberg Lake” directly under the SW face of Fryatt before settling in for the night. After the fifth and final Geraldine Lake we made our way up to the alpine meadows north of Fryatt on a surprisingly clear trail that seemed to come from nowhere (!) and made our way up and around the west ridge of Fryatt. For some reason the bugs were relentless up in the alpine meadows here! We hardly noticed them down by the lakes but at the meadows they swarmed us. Not a lot of biting, but a ton of swarming – we were breathing them in there was so many. Raf’s team bivied in these meadows and it wasn’t fun due to the bugs – I would suggest going further into the alpine if you can, even though the meadows are a perfect place to camp.

Amazing views confronted us as we hit the alpine meadows beyond the fifth lake. Mount Fryatt is most impressive with the right skyline ridge the West Ridge alpine route.
Looking back over the fifth, fourth and third Geraldine Lakes.
How many bugs do you count? 🙂 Gorgeous alpine meadows and great views of Fryatt – note the north glacier.

The west ridge looks like a good route – even if you bypass the 5.8 climbing at the top to join up with the SW face route. It would likely have much less rock fall issues than the face. We contoured around the steep slopes above Divergence Lake (gorgeous but painful on the feet) before using as much snow as possible to hike up underneath the headwall protecting Iceberg Lake and the SW face. We made our way past a scenic waterfall coming down the wall and found a decent route on the south end. I could see this headwall being a pain in the dark – I would suggest bivying above it if you can. Via head lamp you’ll probably end up doing more difficult climbing than necessary to get through it – it should only be a scramble. Again, I’ve heard of folks rapping here and this is completely avoidable if you just go far enough south. Eric kept talking about skiing up “Fat Bastard” – the bump to the west of Iceberg Lake. I think he just likes the name!


Interesting Facts on Mount Fryatt 

Named in 1920. Fryatt, Captain Charles Algernon (Capt. Fryatt was a British merchant seaman who was executed during WW I.) Official name. Other names Patricia. First ascended in 1926 by J.W.A. Hickson, Howard Palmer, guided by Hans Fuhrer. Journal reference CAJ 16-44, App 16-430.


Upper Divergence Lake with the lower one just visible and Curl Peak rising in the distance at right. Our traverse route at left with “Fat Bastard” rising above. Fryatt OOS at left here.

Looking back at the meadows as we start the grinding traverse.
Routefinding through this headwall terrain can be problematic in the dark, so I recommend bivying up at the lake rather than below it.

Once through the headwall we were presented with a head-on view of Fryatt’s SW face and Iceberg Lake sparkling in front of it – complete with an ‘iceberg’ – sort of. We didn’t like the fresh snow on the upper slopes but the sun was starting to finally warm things up so hopefully some melting could take place over the next 2-3 hours before dark. We contoured around the lake on it’s northern shore and found a perfect bivy under the SW face on top of several waterfalls plunging into the lake far below us. This is probably a top 2 bivy spot for me, and I’ve bivied in some pretty gorgeous places in the Rockies. With plenty of running water, towering peaks, protection from the weather and a nice flat area this lake front property is an extremely excellent bivy! We spent the beautiful late afternoon / evening scouting out the SW face and our nice location, taking many sunset shots of Iceberg Lake.

Iceberg Lake and the slope we used to access the SW face rising on the left. Fryatt SW2 on the right.
Looking at our bivy with Fryatt SW2 on the right and peak 9900′ rising on the left.
Setting sun on Iceberg Lake.

After some consultation we decided to take an obvious scree slope to the NE of our camp up to the Fryatt / 9900′ col before traversing north to the SW face of Fryatt. This would avoid some of the more serious rock fall hazards on the lower SW face and would be an easy exit once the climbing was done. It took us just over 7 hours to reach the bivy. We were in bed by 21:30 with a wake-up time of 04:00. 

Mount Fryatt - Approach
A wet trail to the first lake.
A wet trail to the first lake.
At the first lake the trail follows the lake shore closely.
At the first lake the trail follows the lake shore closely.
A wild stream at the inlet to the first lake.
A wild stream at the inlet to the first lake.
After the first lake we arrive at a much smaller lake - presumably the "second" lake.
After the first lake we arrive at a much smaller lake - presumably the "second" lake.
The terrain to the waterfall draining the third lake is already less traveled than around the first lake.
The terrain to the waterfall draining the third lake is already less traveled than around the first lake.
Looking back along the 2nd Geraldine Lake.
Looking back along the 2nd Geraldine Lake.
Avalanche debris has been cleared up to the second lake. From there you're on your own!
Avalanche debris has been cleared up to the second lake. From there you're on your own!
Heading up beside the large waterfall draining the 3rd Geraldine Lake.
Heading up beside the large waterfall draining the 3rd Geraldine Lake.
Looking along the 3rd Geraldine Lake, you can see rain drops on the water surface which made the rock-hopping very treacherous
Looking along the 3rd Geraldine Lake, you can see rain drops on the water surface which made the rock-hopping very treacherous
Looking back over the 3rd Geraldine Lake with Geraldine Peak rising on the left.
Looking back over the 3rd Geraldine Lake with Geraldine Peak rising on the left.
This might have been fun for about 5 minutes. I sucked after that though. Note the cairn in the foreground.
This might have been fun for about 5 minutes. I sucked after that though. Note the cairn in the foreground.
Heading up wilder terrain to the fourth lake.
Heading up wilder terrain to the fourth lake.
Thank goodness there's a trail in this stuff!
Thank goodness there's a trail in this stuff!
Just don't expect an obvious trail all of the time. ;)
Just don't expect an obvious trail all of the time. 😉
Steep grunt to the fourth lake.
Steep grunt to the fourth lake.
The gorgeous fourth lake where we crossed the outlet stream. Fryatt in the clouds - we're hoping it's drying off!
The gorgeous fourth lake where we crossed the outlet stream. Fryatt in the clouds - we're hoping it's drying off!
Hiking along the shoreline of the fourth Geraldine Lake with Fryatt looming in the bg.
Hiking along the shoreline of the fourth Geraldine Lake with Fryatt looming in the bg.
Looking back at the fourth lake.
Looking back at the fourth lake.
Having a trail between the 4th and 5th lakes was nice.
Having a trail between the 4th and 5th lakes was nice.
We had to cross this outlet stream to the 5th lake.
We had to cross this outlet stream to the 5th lake.
The fifth lake is the second largest and beautiful. Wild flowers are everywhere and Mount Fryatt looms in the distance.
The fifth lake is the second largest and beautiful. Wild flowers are everywhere and Mount Fryatt looms in the distance.
The gorgeous environs of the fifth Geraldine Lake.
The gorgeous environs of the fifth Geraldine Lake.
After the fifth lake we went through carpets of wild flowers to reach the alpine meadows beyond.
After the fifth lake we went through carpets of wild flowers to reach the alpine meadows beyond.
A small waterfall along the way to the alpine meadows above the fifth lake.
A small waterfall along the way to the alpine meadows above the fifth lake.
A small waterfall along the way to the alpine meadows above the fifth lake.
A small waterfall along the way to the alpine meadows above the fifth lake.
Looking back to the 5th lake and the small stream feeding into it.
Looking back to the 5th lake and the small stream feeding into it.
Back on an obvious trail now - heading into the alpine meadow section.
Back on an obvious trail now - heading into the alpine meadow section.
The alpine meadows above the 5th Geraldine Lake provide great views of the north ridge and east face of Fryatt.
The alpine meadows above the 5th Geraldine Lake provide great views of the north ridge and east face of Fryatt.
Amazing views confronted us as we hit the alpine meadows beyond the fifth lake.
Amazing views confronted us as we hit the alpine meadows beyond the fifth lake.
Looking back over the fifth, fourth and third Geraldine Lakes.
Looking back over the fifth, fourth and third Geraldine Lakes.
The alpine meadows are a magical place.
The alpine meadows are a magical place.
A quick break in the alpine meadows.
A quick break in the alpine meadows.
How many bugs do you count? :) Gorgeous alpine meadows and great views of Fryatt - note the north glacier.
How many bugs do you count? 🙂 Gorgeous alpine meadows and great views of Fryatt - note the north glacier.
Looking over at Fryatt (L) and Fryatt SW2 (C) and "Fat Bastard" (R) before we start the traverse above Divergence Lake.
Looking over at Fryatt (L) and Fryatt SW2 (C) and "Fat Bastard" (R) before we start the traverse above Divergence Lake.
This is the painful side-hill traverse that brings you under the final headwall to access the SW bowl / face of Fryatt.
This is the painful side-hill traverse that brings you under the final headwall to access the SW bowl / face of Fryatt.
Upper Divergence Lake with our traverse visible at left here.
Upper Divergence Lake with our traverse visible at left here.
Looking back at the meadows as we start the grinding traverse.
Looking back at the meadows as we start the grinding traverse.
Gorgeous Upper Divergence Lake.
Gorgeous Upper Divergence Lake.
Looking ahead to the flatter bowl between Fryatt (L) and Fat Bastard (C). This area is understandably heaven for goats!
Looking ahead to the flatter bowl between Fryatt (L) and Fat Bastard (C). This area is understandably heaven for goats!
Using snow patches to gain height to the headwall guarding Iceberg Lake.
Using snow patches to gain height to the headwall guarding Iceberg Lake.
Using snow patches to gain height to the headwall guarding Iceberg Lake.
Using snow patches to gain height to the headwall guarding Iceberg Lake.
We take a break before heading for the sliver of snow in the background (first one - barely visible) which we'll follow through a break in the lower cliff band.
We take a break before heading for the sliver of snow in the background (first one - barely visible) which we'll follow through a break in the lower cliff band.
Breaking through the headwall beneath the upper bivy.
Breaking through the headwall beneath the upper bivy.
Routefinding through this terrain can be problematic in the dark, so I recommend bivying up at the lake rather than below it.
Routefinding through this terrain can be problematic in the dark, so I recommend bivying up at the lake rather than below it.
Finally breaking through the headwall, Fryatt towering over Eric here.
Finally breaking through the headwall, Fryatt towering over Eric here.
Iceberg Lake and the slope we used to access the SW face rising on the left. Fryatt SW2 on the right.
Iceberg Lake and the slope we used to access the SW face rising on the left. Fryatt SW2 on the right.
Eric eats supper at our delightful bivy. Iceberg Lake is about 40 feet below us here.
Eric eats supper at our delightful bivy. Iceberg Lake is about 40 feet below us here.
At the Fryatt Bivy.
At the Fryatt Bivy.
At the Fryatt Bivy.
At the Fryatt Bivy.
It doesn't get any better than this. Waterfalls run down all along our bivy above the lake, providing us with an endless supply of fresh, cold water.
It doesn't get any better than this. Waterfalls run down all along our bivy above the lake, providing us with an endless supply of fresh, cold water.
At the Fryatt Bivy.
At the Fryatt Bivy.
Water pours over the steep cliffs dropping into Iceberg Lake near our bivy site.
Water pours over the steep cliffs dropping into Iceberg Lake near our bivy site.
Looking at our bivy from above. I put rocks around mine (left) because of the 40 foot drop to the lake right by it!
Looking at our bivy from above. I put rocks around mine (left) because of the 40 foot drop to the lake right by it!
Setting sun on Iceberg Lake.
Setting sun on Iceberg Lake.
Setting sun on Iceberg Lake.
Setting sun on Iceberg Lake.

The Climb

I slept great on my Exped down sleeping mat, with its down warmth and goodness, and woke up 10 minutes before my alarm, psyched to start the climb. The Milky Way was in full display above us and I took a few photos as the other guys got ready. I saw 3 shooting stars which made me optimistic for the long day ahead of us. I was excited rather than nervous, I get this way more often on bigger objectives. I can be nervous the day or week before the climb, but on the morning of the action, I get really psyched and can’t wait to get moving.

The SW face of Fryatt looms ominously in the pre-dawn dark as we gain height to the 9900′ col. There’s still fresh snow, but hopefully not enough to be an issue.

We had made the decision the evening before, to traverse the SW face from the col with peak 9900′ before ascending obvious gullies to the west ridge and then to the summit block. We made good time up the endless scree slope to the col, under head lamp, and popped out at the col at 06:30 – just as the sun was starting to rise. This was perfect timing as we needed daylight for the SW face. The morning views, especially to the west, were absolutely mind blowing already. It was shaping up to be one of the most special days I’ve had in the Rockies. The SW face looked reasonably dry as the sun rose, which was a relief after seeing the fresh snow the day before. There was some snow, but we were hoping it would help instead of hurt our chances of success.

Morning panorama from the 9900′ col includes from L to R, Belanger, Serenity, Lapensee, “Fat Bastard”, Scott, Alnus, Divergence, Evans, Oventop Ridge, Beacon and of course many, many others in the far distance.

From the col we followed cairns and the odd bits of trail up the SW face. It’s impossible to describe the route perfectly – basically go up and traverse towards the west ridge (climber’s left). We used solid snow in the gullies to gain quick elevation but this did involve some steep snow climbing with sections of pretty hard ice for good measure. Aluminum crampons felt a bit under-tooled for the icy sections. We didn’t protect any of the snow climbing, but we all feel comfortable on steep snow. I think some of the moves we made on the ice / snow were the trickiest part of our day. There was one section in particular where both Eric and I were clinging to the tiniest little holds on our front points and the tip of our axes thinking, “why didn’t I bring ice tools?!”. Of course Barton made it look pretty easy.

The rock was pretty loose lower down on the face too. A large climbing party could be an issue here. Route finding is key to keeping the lower face within the realm of ‘scrambling’. If you stick to the ridge from the 9900′ col you will be on 5th class terrain pretty quickly. 

We were just nearing the top of our final snow slope before the roped climbing started, when I thought I heard yelling from slopes to the east! Sure enough – there was Ferenc traversing towards us on crampons from the south ridge!! I had a feeling he might join us after he sounded bitterly disappointed earlier when it didn’t seem like he would be able to make it. He was extremely lucky that he caught up with us where he did – namely just before the roped climbing sections where he could benefit from our rope. After greeting him (this was his first time meeting Kev) we continued upward, soon arriving at a crux, with a party of four now, instead of three. It was nice to have Ferenc since both he and Kev are more experienced with roped climbing.

Eric comes up the first pitch (5.4) which is also the rap route. Iceberg Lake and our bivy spot far below him now.

Most trip reports that I could find (including the linked ones up above) mention or show pictures of a notch in the west ridge with a chock stone plugging the top of it. We didn’t traverse over this chock stone on the ridge (like Rick Collier did) and we didn’t ascend to the left or to climber’s right of it either (like Dow Williams group did). I think, based on photos from Raf’s trip report, that we ascended just to climber’s right of this gully / notch along the rappel route. Ferenc actually tried ascending the notch route but it was plugged with ice near the top and he didn’t want to risk the one move that he had to make – probably the same 5.7 move that Dow’s group made. I noticed a possible route to climber’s right of this chock stone gully from below and suggested we try it. Some difficult scrambling led us up a short section to a ledge / crack running under a bulge to climber’s right, away from the notch route. Just past this bulge was a nice platform to belay a climb up some 5.4 terrain. At the time I didn’t know it was the rappel route, but after Kev led it he stopped at a large rap station so it became rather obvious that it was.

Once again, my “scrambling nose” saved us from climbing terrain above our comfort level. I have found on numerous 11,000ers that having a scrambling background and mentality is really nice for finding the easier routes that others can miss because they’re too focused on using the rope they’ve lugged all the way up. Of course there’s nothing wrong with climbing harder terrain, but on a big mountain I believe that speed and efficiency are the key to being safe and with one rope for the four of us, we were going to be slow enough on the unavoidable terrain and on the descent rappels. We didn’t need to make things harder.

The scree traverse around the summit block, east of the topping out point from the face. You can see Ferenc standing on the final summit ridge.

From this section on the face, we passed several well-used rap stations and did some short pitches of 5.2 to 5.4(ish) climbing. The rock was surprisingly stable on the climbing pitches – it was horribly loose everywhere else! We topped out on the West ridge just before the scree traverse under the summit block. We had no difficulties on the ridge from our ascent line. The summit was easily gained via a narrow scree gully on the east end of the summit block. 

Incredible summit view over the Geraldine Lakes towards Edith Cavell and Geraldine Peak. Kerkeslin on the right.
Incredible summit panorama includes from R to L, Edith Cavell, Ramparts (Geikie, Paragon and more), Parapet, Simon, Scarp and others. Robson is the snowy giant in the far distance, just right of center.
Views over Iceberg Lake include Fryatt SW2, Balanger, Lapensee, Divergence, Alnus and many others.
Looking south (L) and west. Catacombs is at distant left with the northern Columbia Icefield peaks visible beyond.

We spent half an hour enjoying spectacular views in every direction including some very impressive summits – even Robson was visible. We didn’t linger too long due to concerns about melting and rock fall on the face. It took us 6.5 hours to the summit from our bivy site which included two pitches of climbing. The second pitch could probably be free soloed by competent parties – we certainly could have soloed it if we knew how easy it was going to be.

Mount Fryatt
74 photos
Waking up early to a nice night sky reflected in the lake.
Waking up early to a nice night sky reflected in the lake.
The SW face of Fryatt looms ominously in the pre-dawn dark as we gain height to the 9900' col.
The SW face of Fryatt looms ominously in the pre-dawn dark as we gain height to the 9900' col.
It's still very dark as we make our way up the first scree slope.
It's still very dark as we make our way up the first scree slope.
A gorgeous sunrise to the east as we pop onto the 9900' col.
A gorgeous sunrise to the east as we pop onto the 9900' col.
Incredible lighting to the southwest including Belanger (L) and Lapensee (R). The north face of Serenity Peak at center.
Incredible lighting to the southwest including Belanger (L) and Lapensee (R). The north face of Serenity Peak at center.
L to R, Belanger, Serenity, Lapensee, "Fat Bastard", Scott, Alnus, Divergence, Evans, Oventop Ridge, Beacon
L to R, Belanger, Serenity, Lapensee, "Fat Bastard", Scott, Alnus, Divergence, Evans, Oventop Ridge, Beacon
Traversing easy scree from the col before heading up the SW face.
Traversing easy scree from the col before heading up the SW face.
The sun finally rises on the surrounding peaks - notably peak 9900' on the left, with Belanger and Lapensee catching alpine glow over Fat Bastard.
The sun finally rises on the surrounding peaks - notably peak 9900' on the left, with Belanger and Lapensee catching alpine glow over Fat Bastard.
9900' Peak is very respectable.
9900' Peak is very respectable.
Gorgeous sunrise on 9900' peak, Mounts Belanger and Lapensee with Fat Bastard in front.
Gorgeous sunrise on 9900' peak, Mounts Belanger and Lapensee with Fat Bastard in front.
The scree traverse.
The scree traverse.
Some of the scrambling on the rising traverse was exposed and steep. And LOOSE.
Some of the scrambling on the rising traverse was exposed and steep. And LOOSE.
Some of the scrambling on the rising traverse was exposed and steep. And LOOSE.
Some of the scrambling on the rising traverse was exposed and steep. And LOOSE.
The odd cairn was a nice touch but we certainly didn't follow a line of them to the summit - it was more that we accidentally stumbled on them as we climbed.
The odd cairn was a nice touch but we certainly didn't follow a line of them to the summit - it was more that we accidentally stumbled on them as we climbed.
The SW face wasn't terribly difficult but it was loose and exposed enough that care was needed.
The SW face wasn't terribly difficult but it was loose and exposed enough that care was needed.
We took the most obvious 'easy' route and usually found cairns approving our choices.
We took the most obvious 'easy' route and usually found cairns approving our choices.
Kev front points across an icy gully.
Kev front points across an icy gully.
This little tiptoe over a short section of ice was far trickier than it looked!
This little tiptoe over a short section of ice was far trickier than it looked!
Eric enjoys the confidence-inspiring snow climb up a gully on the face.
Eric enjoys the confidence-inspiring snow climb up a gully on the face.
You know you're becoming a mountaineer when you start looking for snow lines up faces instead of scree lines.
You know you're becoming a mountaineer when you start looking for snow lines up faces instead of scree lines.
Looking down at Eric as we ascend another steep snow gully on the face.
Looking down at Eric as we ascend another steep snow gully on the face.
Looking down at Eric as we ascend another steep snow gully on the face.
Looking down at Eric as we ascend another steep snow gully on the face.
Ferenc crosses a steep snow gully (we climbed it from below-right) to join up with our ascent party.
Ferenc crosses a steep snow gully (we climbed it from below-right) to join up with our ascent party.
Looking over the difficult looking north ridge. The 5.7 chockstone route visible in a steep crack.
Looking over the difficult looking north ridge. The 5.7 chockstone route visible in a steep crack.
Getting much higher now, looking over peak 9900' towards Clemenceau and Bras Croche (R)
Getting much higher now, looking over peak 9900' towards Clemenceau and Bras Croche (R)
Eric comes up the first pitch (5.4) which is also the rap route. Iceberg Lake and our bivy spot far below him now.
Eric comes up the first pitch (5.4) which is also the rap route. Iceberg Lake and our bivy spot far below him now.
Eric comes up the first pitch (5.4) which is also the rap route. Iceberg Lake and our bivy spot far below him now.
Eric comes up the first pitch (5.4) which is also the rap route. Iceberg Lake and our bivy spot far below him now.
Looking north towards the Ramparts (Tonquin Valley) and even Mount Robson in the distance!
Looking north towards the Ramparts (Tonquin Valley) and even Mount Robson in the distance!
Ferenc gets ready to lead the second pitch (5.2).
Ferenc gets ready to lead the second pitch (5.2).
Might be 'easy' but it's still 5th class...
Might be 'easy' but it's still 5th class...
Might be 'easy' but it's still 5th class...
Might be 'easy' but it's still 5th class...
What a belay perch for Kev!
What a belay perch for Kev!
Looking up as Kev nears the end of the last climbing pitch before the summit block.
Looking up as Kev nears the end of the last climbing pitch before the summit block.
Kev follows me up the west ridge.
Kev follows me up the west ridge.
The scree traverse around the summit block, east of the topping out point from the face. You can see Ferenc standing on the final summit ridge.
The scree traverse around the summit block, east of the topping out point from the face. You can see Ferenc standing on the final summit ridge.
A final, easy, scree chimney to the summit ridge.
A final, easy, scree chimney to the summit ridge.
Final steps to the summit of Mount Fryatt.
Final steps to the summit of Mount Fryatt.
Incredible summit view over the Geraldine Lakes towards Edith Cavell and Geraldine Peak. Kerkeslin on the right.
Incredible summit view over the Geraldine Lakes towards Edith Cavell and Geraldine Peak. Kerkeslin on the right.
Looking southeast over Kerkeslin (L). Many familiar peaks around the Columbia Icefields to the right, including Alberta, Woolley and Diadem.
Looking southeast over Kerkeslin (L). Many familiar peaks around the Columbia Icefields to the right, including Alberta, Woolley and Diadem.
Edith Cavell. Robson at distant left.
Edith Cavell. Robson at distant left.
Looking over the Tonquin Valley.
Looking over the Tonquin Valley.
Edith Cavell, Ramparts (Geikie, Paragon and more), Parapet, Simon, Scarp and others. Robson is the snowy giant in the far distance, just right of center.
Edith Cavell, Ramparts (Geikie, Paragon and more), Parapet, Simon, Scarp and others. Robson is the snowy giant in the far distance, just right of center.
Looking west towards the Monashees. Hallam Peak at center-left, Mallard and Pancake to the right.
Looking west towards the Monashees. Hallam Peak at center-left, Mallard and Pancake to the right.
One of the highest peaks in the Rockies - Mount Clemenceau with Shackleton and Tsar to the left.
One of the highest peaks in the Rockies - Mount Clemenceau with Shackleton and Tsar to the left.
Tsar at center left.
Tsar at center left.
Looking west over Iceberg Lake far below.
Looking west over Iceberg Lake far below.
The north face of Serenity Peak (left of center) is impressive!
The north face of Serenity Peak (left of center) is impressive!
Looking south (L) and west. Catacombs is at distant left with the northern Columbia Icefield peaks visible beyond.
Looking south (L) and west. Catacombs is at distant left with the northern Columbia Icefield peaks visible beyond.
Summit Register.
Summit Register.
Vern on the summit of Mount Fryatt!
Vern on the summit of Mount Fryatt!
Traversing back along the spectacular summit ridge towards our descent route.
Traversing back along the spectacular summit ridge towards our descent route.
Reluctantly leaving the sublime views to descend the face before things heat up too much and rock fall becomes an issue.
Reluctantly leaving the sublime views to descend the face before things heat up too much and rock fall becomes an issue.
Setting up a rappel.
Setting up a rappel.
Eric on rappel.
Eric on rappel.
Rappelling.
Rappelling.
Rappelling.
Rappelling.
Rappelling.
Rappelling.
Cleaning up the first rap - note the chock stone gully to the left?
Cleaning up the first rap - note the chock stone gully to the left?
Finishing another rappel on the SW face of Fryatt.
Finishing another rappel on the SW face of Fryatt.
Ferenc waits for his turn to rap - enjoying the incredible weather and views.
Ferenc waits for his turn to rap - enjoying the incredible weather and views.
Another rap.
Another rap.
A 5th class section that we climbed on ascent / rapped on descent.
A 5th class section that we climbed on ascent / rapped on descent.
A careful descent down the SW face of Fryatt now that the raps are complete.
A careful descent down the SW face of Fryatt now that the raps are complete.
Pretty good rock steps on the face if you look for them, but still exposed and loose for a group of four.
Pretty good rock steps on the face if you look for them, but still exposed and loose for a group of four.
Pretty good rock steps on the face if you look for them, but still exposed and loose for a group of four.
Pretty good rock steps on the face if you look for them, but still exposed and loose for a group of four.
Careful not to kick rocks!
Careful not to kick rocks!
Downclimbing the face as we traverse skier's left to the 9900' col.
Downclimbing the face as we traverse skier's left to the 9900' col.
The SW face from near the 9900' col, looking much drier after another warm day in the sunshine. We couldn't have timed our climb better.
The SW face from near the 9900' col, looking much drier after another warm day in the sunshine. We couldn't have timed our climb better.
Off the hard stuff! It's a great feeling as we scree ski back to our bivy.
Off the hard stuff! It's a great feeling as we scree ski back to our bivy.
The mighty Mount Clemenceau rises in the morning sun with Mount Shackleton to the left.
The mighty Mount Clemenceau rises in the morning sun with Mount Shackleton to the left.

The Egress

We rapped 3 times on the descent and then picked our way back down and across to the col and down scree / snow slopes to the bivy. From there it was a long (long!) trek back to Ferenc’s bivy under the Iceberg Lake headwall and then all the way back to the parking lot, past all the Geraldine lakes. The boulder hopping was the most unpleasant part of the hike out – thank goodness we didn’t have rain or heavy dew to make things even worse on those blasted lichen-covered, Quartzite rocks.

Reluctantly leaving the sublime views to descend the face before things heat up too much and rock fall becomes an issue.
Finishing another rappel on the SW face of Fryatt.

We managed to do Fryatt in 36 hours instead of the more standard 3 days, but I wasn’t home until 04:30 on Monday – and the drive wasn’t so pleasant after being awake for over 24 hours either!  A long and tough mountain, Fryatt is never going to be a popular peak but for those willing to do some “quality suffering” in gorgeous surroundings it should be very high on your mountain list. It’s setting in the backcountry of Jasper couldn’t be more sublime and the bivy by Iceberg Lake is a top 5 for sure.

 
Back to the side-hilling above Divergence Lake! Back to the incessant bugs too!

Fryatt has to be one of my top 10 peaks up till now. Maybe even a top 5 if I think about it long enough. Whatever it is, I miss it already and will almost certainly be back to climb some of the surrounding summits or backpack through some of the amazing terrain nearby.

7 thoughts on Fryatt, Mount

  1. End of the year and just lamenting about previous trips. I absolutely loved the climb of Mt. Fryatt with Vern and Eric, and the late arriving Ferenc. Man, I was younger and so fit, I remember having boundless energy on the trip; felt like I could hike/climb forever. The setting of Fryatt is divine, the region just to the west is true wilderness and so inviting, heading there to trek for sure in my retirement. Thanks for trip, and the memories Vern, lets get up some big peaks in the new decade. Cheers my friend.

    Kevin

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