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Kitchener, Mount

Summit Elevation (m): 3500
Elevation Gain (m): 1900
Round Trip Time (hr): 24
Total Trip Distance (km): 40
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you sprain something
Difficulty Notes: Columbia ice fields route includes severe crevasse issues and snow slopes. Don’t minimize these risks and learn how to manage them before attempting this trip.
Technical Rating: MN7; YDS (I)
MapGoogle Maps


The day after our exciting ascent of West Twin and attempt at South Twin (including a crevasse incident) we were in the mood for a slightly easier approach and summit. Since TJ, JW and I were ‘only’ looking for one more day on the Twins, we’d set up our camp much closer to the exit on the ice fields and on the southwest side of Kitchener instead of going the extra 5km closer to the Twins / Stuts area. This was fine for our group but didn’t work out for the other group of Anton, Ian and Kev. I think if they were closer they could have at least gone for the Stutfield Peaks and still managed a few more of the northern ice field summits. As it was, they were feeling to tired on Sunday to go all the way back to the Stuts.

Mount Kitchener & Snow Dome Route Map
Gorgeous sunset over Mount Columbia, King Edward and the Twins.

Anton, TJ, Ian and I had never done Kitchener and Anton, TJ, JW and I had never done Snow Dome so the decision for Sunday was to get up on time and first ski up Kitchener. Then we would pack up camp and carry the heavy packs up and around Snow Dome’s west side. From there we would drop the packs and take just the safety gear on a short ski to the summit. Ian and Kev would join us about 1 hour later at the bag drop location and we would all head home. If the conditions were too nuclear we were prepared to hang out for a bit above the headwall and ramp on the Athabasca Glacier until the snow (hopefully) firmed up a bit.

Gorgeous sunrise over Mount Bryce, Columbia and King Edward.

Interesting Facts on Mount Kitchener

Named in 1916. Kitchener, Horatio Herbert (Viscount Kitchener was a British Field Marshall who organized the British armies at the beginning of WW I. He was lost when HMS Hampshire struck a mine in 1916.) Official name. Other names Douglas, Mount (see summary) First ascended in 1927 by Alfred J. Ostheimer, guided by Hans Fuhrer. Journal reference CAJ 16-21.


The night was very warm but the snow was still supportive as we worked our way up Kitchener. We avoided any unnecessary height gain or loss and managed to make the summit from camp within about 1.5 hours of leaving camp! No fuss – no muss but it was HOT at the summit. I’m not talking ‘warm’ – the sun was actually burning down and there wasn’t a breath of wind either. TJ very cautiously probed around the summit area and we stayed well back of any possible cornices / ice falls on the edge. This is not an area to play cute with and we didn’t.

TJ skis to the summit block of Kitchener.
Getting higher. As you can see – the terrain is very gentle here.

The ski back down to camp was fast and easy – a glorious morning with so many peaks all around it was impossible to count or even take notice of all of them. There is nothing quite like skiing down an easy-angled glacier on such a day. Those moments tend to stick with me through the years as snapshots of pure happiness. This is why I enjoy skiing summits and take the risks to do it. Kitchener is not a difficult peak if you ski it from the west side but don’t get too casual with the crevasse hazards either. Like any area of the ice fields it demands attention and respect and then it’ll give back amazing views and a nice ski run back down.

Mount Columbia from Kitchener.
Our camp looks tiny under Mount Columbia and King Edward!
Another team skis up Kitchener with Snow Dome in the background.

After packing up camp it was time to head over to Snow Dome and then home.

Mount Kitchener
Sunrise on Bryce.
Sunrise on Bryce.
A gorgeous sunrise on South and North Twin.
A gorgeous sunrise on South and North Twin.
Sunrise on Mount King Edward.
Sunrise on Mount King Edward.
Sunrise on Columbia, King Edward, South and North Twin Peak.
Sunrise on Columbia, King Edward, South and North Twin Peak.
Sunrise on Columbia, King Edward, South and North Twin Peak.
Sunrise on Columbia, King Edward, South and North Twin Peak.
Sunrise on Columbia, King Edward, South and North Twin Peak.
Sunrise on Columbia, King Edward, South and North Twin Peak.
The west side of Kitchener rises right behind our camp - providing easy access to the summit.
The west side of Kitchener rises right behind our camp - providing easy access to the summit.
Sunrise on Mount Columbia and King Edward.
Sunrise on Mount Columbia and King Edward.
Sunrise on Mount Columbia.
Sunrise on Mount Columbia.
Packing up camp preparing for the day.
Packing up camp preparing for the day.
TJ leads up easy slopes to the summit of Kitchener.
TJ leads up easy slopes to the summit of Kitchener.
Ian skiing up Kitchener with Mount Columbia in the background. It's only 09:00 but very warm already.
Ian skiing up Kitchener with Mount Columbia in the background. It's only 09:00 but very warm already.
TJ leads up easy slopes to the summit of Kitchener.
TJ leads up easy slopes to the summit of Kitchener.
TJ skis to the summit block of Kitchener with South, North Twin and the Stuts on the left.
TJ skis to the summit block of Kitchener with South, North Twin and the Stuts on the left.
TJ skis to the summit block of Kitchener.
TJ skis to the summit block of Kitchener.
The north side of the Stutfield Peaks have some impressive cliffs.
The north side of the Stutfield Peaks have some impressive cliffs.
Looking past Snow Dome towards Athabasca and Andromeda.
Looking past Snow Dome towards Athabasca and Andromeda.
Looking back to North Twin Peak.
Looking back to North Twin Peak.
Getting higher. As you can see - the terrain is very gentle here.
Getting higher. As you can see - the terrain is very gentle here.
TJ probes carefully around the summit area while the rest of us enjoy the fabulous views and HOT sun!
TJ probes carefully around the summit area while the rest of us enjoy the fabulous views and HOT sun!
Mount Athabasca with the Silverhorn route showing ice and the AA route visible too.
Mount Athabasca with the Silverhorn route showing ice and the AA route visible too.
Mount Andromeda's impressive Skyladder route also shows quite a bit of ice for this time of the year.
Mount Andromeda's impressive Skyladder route also shows quite a bit of ice for this time of the year.
On the summit of Mount Kitchener.
On the summit of Mount Kitchener.
Mount King Edward with Tsar in the background.
Mount King Edward with Tsar in the background.
Mount Columbia.
Mount Columbia.
Bryce, Columbia, King Edward and the Twins.
Bryce, Columbia, King Edward and the Twins.
Snow Dome.
Snow Dome.
Forbes, the Lyells and Alexandra.
Forbes, the Lyells and Alexandra.
Pano includes Athabasca, Andromeda, Forbes, Lyells and Alexandra.
Pano includes Athabasca, Andromeda, Forbes, Lyells and Alexandra.
Pano includes Athabasca, Andromeda, Forbes, Lyells and Alexandra.
Pano includes Athabasca, Andromeda, Forbes, Lyells and Alexandra.
Forbes, the Lyells and Oppy.
Forbes, the Lyells and Oppy.
The Adamant Range and Sir Sanford are clearly visible.
The Adamant Range and Sir Sanford are clearly visible.
Columbia and King Edward.
Columbia and King Edward.
Looking over at Snow Dome from part way down Kitchener
Looking over at Snow Dome from part way down Kitchener
The Columbia Icefield.
The Columbia Icefield.
Another ski team on the way up Mount Kitchener.
Another ski team on the way up Mount Kitchener.
Mount Alberta shows up over the Stuts as I ski down Kitchener.
Mount Alberta shows up over the Stuts as I ski down Kitchener.
Looking back up at the summit of Kitchener - you can barely see the others from my group and another group just above them.
Looking back up at the summit of Kitchener - you can barely see the others from my group and another group just above them.
Our tiny camp on the huge icefield.
Our tiny camp on the huge icefield.

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