Rogers Pass is one of my favourite places in the world to ski during the winter, but until last week, I had never made it "up the Pass" in the Summer. With sun forecast for three days straight and it being oppressively hot in Revelstoke, Hillary and I decided to venture up and tackle the Asulkan Traverse.
We hiked in the cooler afternoon up to the start of the route and bivouaced on Abbot ridge by perfectly still ponds that reflected the mountains and green meadows. Early the next morning we began the traverse making our way across Abbot, Afton, the Rampart and the Dome, descending to Sapphire Col and the small cabin there.
Abbot Ridge Trail. The Rampart Knife Edge.
The Rampart- A sidewalk in the sky.
The route was technically easy, no harder than 5.4 with a small crux at the top of the Dome. This was my first real ridge traverse and we quickly learnt the first rule of ridge traverses- Stick to the ridge. A few times we got suckered off the ridge proper and once off the crest, the rock quality completely deteriorated. But it made for an adventure and we made it to Sapphire Col comfortably.
The 5.4 crux moves on the Dome.
Tired and weary after a full day at the Sapphire Col cabin.
We ran out of propane gas whilst cooking dinner so we munched down half cooked quinoa and vegetables, but that didn't dampen the spirit too much. This was perhaps the best stocked trip I have ever taken in the mountains. So much so we even carried out smoked mussels, a whole avocado, half a tub of home-made hummus and cheese.
The next day we traversed across Castor, Pollux and Leda to come out at Asulkan Pass before descending the galcier to the Asulkan Hut and on out to the highway. The hike down from the hut was beautiful, moving from the vibrant wildflowers in the alpine to the lush green flora of the valley. Waterfalls spill of both sides and the hum of the river makes the plod down so, so enjoyable.
The traverse is an amazing adventure and yet another highlight of my summer so far.