Mount Hector | 2011.05.15

Mount Hector
  • Location: Banff National Park (Icefields Parkway)
  • Activity: Ski Mountaineering
  • Height: 3,394 m (11,136 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,530 m (5,020 ft)
  • Distance: 13.7 km / Round Trip (8.5 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 12.6°
  • Estimated Time: 7-10 hrs
  • Technicality: Expert.II
  • Fitness Level: Athlete

Joined CSMC’s Hector trip. I have had few trips with Tom and Paul before but it was the first time with Clayton… I thought, but turned out Clayton and I have met and did little bit of yoyo skiing before at Crowfoot.

I have been comparing skis and snowshoes and complaining about skiing in the past. Mostly because pretty much every single skier hates snowshoeing, so I elected to become a anti-skier who like to ski… w(゚o゚*)w Make no sense… Anyway Hector was definitely better with skis for sure. That massive wide Hector Glacier was super fun to ski down!! However if I do this again, I would like to try crazy carpet too. Can’t imagine coming down the glacier with the carpet!! According to my GPS, I cracked 70 km/h with skis which is actually far faster than I thought, with crazy carpet, I will crack 150 km/h.

Route was quite simple. We followed Hector Creek from parking. After 1.3 km we arrived at waterfall which some resources say the crux if icy (near waypoint “Cairn 1”, page 4). For us, it was nothing but maybe at most moderate scramble as rocks were dry and no ice but frozen snow covering creek. We didn’t have to worry about avalanche neither. At GR495170 which is just passed waypoint “Cairn 2”, there was a bit short steep slope which some source mentioned as a potential avalanche slope if condition is right. Immediately after this, we slogged up a long uphill (page 6). As I got closer to the end of the hill, I started to see tip of Little Hector then the summit of Hector as well. Once this hill was over there weren’t much cardio required stuff until near the summit block. Until then we enjoyed gentle glacier walk under beautiful blue sky and warm temperature. For us the crux was the summit block (page 16). We didn’t use rope there for up-climb but for down-climb, we were glad we carried rope to the summit. It would be only moderate scrambling if dry but with snow and somewhat dangerous exposure, use of rope is recommended. To be honest I felt this part was more difficult than I expected.

* Grid References (GR) is based on WGS84 which can be considered as NAD83 (The difference is inciginificant)

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