Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mt. Robson South Face Kain Route Variation

It always boggles my mind how time seems to slow down in fall.  No one has any plans and all of the sudden we have time for harvesting, getting fire wood, having potlucks and pretty much anything imaginable.  When the weather is good it presents an opportunity to get after some things that have been sitting on the side lines.

Last week was one of those opportunity's, it was time to try a variation I have been looking at for accessing the Kain route via the south face of Robson.  This route is a much more direct approach to the dome or Robson Resplendent col and although much steeper it can save a day of hiking.

Starting from Kinney lake you take the normal route to the ridge just below the Ralf Forster hut.  From here see photo above you traverse the largest yellow band East to the Patterson couloir.  There will be some serac and rock fall danger but limited to small sections and a fair trade for the crevasse danger via the normal route.  Once at the Patterson couloir there is the option of taking this route straight up to the dome but you expose your self to unnecessary rock fall hazard.  By traversing east 500 meters you can gain a spur (4th class) just to the east that brings you right up to the Robson Resplendent Col.
(Note: Getting off the yellow bands and onto the glacier below the patterson couloir can be a little tricky as one has to climb into and out of the bergshrund however in a year where this doesn't seem feasible one could opt to stay above the bergshrund and keep traversing over to the spur.)

Once on top the Spur you can camp on the Col (more sun) or  climb the ridge to the Dome if you need more time for summit day.

 On the way down we decided to try our luck and bush wack out the creek instead of heading back to the hut.  Luck was on our side that day as we were able to find a goat trail that weaved us down what seemed the only half desent route to the valley.  There was allot more cliff bands then expected.  Once in the valley it was about 3 hours of bush wacking to Kinney Lake.  Although we got home at a respectable hour we figured it would be easier and shorter time wise to go down the assent.


  1. Awesome. How deep into October do you think you can climb? I'd love to get on Robson!

  2. Hey Jason, we just got back from a trip up the North Face. Conditions are still good and depending on how much snow we get could stay good well into OCT. Just have to move faster with these shorter days but you shouldn't have a problem with that!

  3. Hi Reiner my name's Bob I'm the editor of a newspaper in Jasper called the Jasper Local. I'm doing a story on the 100th yr anniversary ascent of Robson and just talked to Eamonn Walsh who summitted yesterday, on the centennial.
    He said he and his partner saw a soloist coming down as they were going up. Wondering if that was you and, if so, if you'd be interested in telling me about it for my story?
    Thanks for your time, you can reach me at 780 852 9474
    Thanks very much!
    Bob Covey
    (I'd appreciate it if you didn't post this comment on your blog for privacy concerns)