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Mount Andromeda

Difficulty: 
Mountaineering
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
27.8
Net Elevation Gain [m]: 
1522
Total Elevation Gain [m]: 
1600
Ascent Time: 
7:50
Bushwhackyness: 
None
Tripdate: 
Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mount Andromeda has been on the summit radar some quite some time, we just had to wait for the right conditions. At the start of this trip Steven and I wern't even planning on heading up Andromeda but the nearby (less agressive) 11000er Snowdome. However once getting a feel for the great snow conditions (and having tracks to follow to speed up our ascent) once atop the Athabasca Glacier we decided to head left not right, and tackle Andromeda.

Starting off well before sunrise from the Icefield Centre we headed up the Athabsca Glacier under a sea of starlight. Travel conditions were quite swift and shortly after dropping onto the glacier we came across a set of tracks which would further speed along our ascent. Getting up the Athabasca is never a competely safe plan and we were vigilant to make sure that the tracks we were on didn't veer off onto any suspect bridges. After plodding along up the icefalls we came to the ramp and started to get some lovely sunrise views over the Columbia Icefield. At this point we decided to switch objectives and go for Andromeda, leaving the tracks and contouring climbers left towards the ascent col. To reach the col there is first a large slope that had to be traversed which was exceptionally slippery with the early morning freeze. Once reaching the col it was time to leave the skis behind and carry on the rest of the route on boots. Travel conditions were quite good with limited post-holing and mostly rambling on a mix of snow and rock up to the final summit ridge. The final ridge was steeper than we were anticipating but didn't pose any concerns for us walking near the crest. A short while later we were on the summit and taking in some of the best views I have seen to date (the pictures below speak for themselves!). The one concern on the summit was the wind, a full-on icy arctic gale that was downright bone-chilling even with a big down jacket on. After braving the wind long enough to take numerous summit panos we fled back down to lower slopes and started our descent. By the time we started to descend the snow had started to soften making for suberb downhill conditions which we took full advantage of. Mount Andromeda is a great looking peak and a great trip, wait till good weather to fully appreciate the views!

 

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