Mount Edith Cavell | 2013-08-11
I'm somewhat back. I spent last several months in Tyria which put me so behind of my website updates.
Surprisingly Mount Edith Cavell is covered in 11,000er or Selected Alpine Climbs books but not in the scramble books. For scramblers who want to do another 11,000er beside Temple, this is it. West ridge route is nothing but moderate scramble with full of slog. Tasty.
Navigating Cavell Meadows loop in the dark was little confusing but somehow we managed. About half way to the col, we lost the trail, so we were following GPS track which Dan's friend gave us. The most helpful and excellent route description ever!
Once we were at the east ridge, continuous scrambling started. It is quite sustained steep difficult scrambling (page 5), some people may feel uncomfortable not using rope, however Dan and I both are Asians and we were ok because we can fly like kung fu masters in Chinese movies. Falling off, no problem!
Route wise stay right of the couloir. The couloir eventually pushed us right on the edge of cliff and then we had to walk on the snow ridge which was the top of the couloir (page 6). Here just in case we did use crampons for safety.
The crux would be either 5.3 pitch which comes after the ridge became flat for little distance (or sleeping at the parking lot knowing serac may come down on you any time while you are sleeping). We had a 40 m rope and did 1.5 pitches, so the 5.3 rock was probably around 50-60 m high (page 10 & 15).
To the Summit:
Towards the summit after the crux became easier but still had good amount of hands on scrambling. Summit ridge was rather flat and easy walk.
Descending West Ridge:
The most difficult part of descent was to figure out where exactly start to descent because if you descent too early you will be facing cliffs. Make things easy there was a trail and even more the biggest cairn I saw on Edith to indicate where to start descend at GR275361 (waypoint Cairn 3) which is close to col between high point GR271362 and the summit (AKA Cavell-Sorrow col). Enjoy the scree and long way out.
By the way we did bring bike for last 2 km on road! Which was great because not only it took 5 min to get to the car but at the same time we could take shower from wet road after rain.