Mount Murchison has been tempting Raf and I ever since we first got a really good look at her summit from across highway 93 while sipping Starbucks on Mount Sarbach in 2009. Already in 2008 my appetite for this mountain was wet by Andrew Nugara's trip report of him and his brother's ascent.
After finding a summit register on top of Hooge Peak we were re-energized to find another on Monchy. In the words of the original ascent party;
These two summits are really two points on one long ridge and should not be considered two separate summits. Journal reference CAJ 32-16
After summiting Mount Amery, Eric and I began our long (LONG!) traverse around the entire Monchy Icefield to the summits of Hooge and Monchy. You need a lot of factors to come into play before this traverse is worth the effort:
I waited 3 years to finally accomplish what TJ, Megan and I did on Saturday, April 18 2009 - summit Mount Hector. Truthfully, on hindsight, it's for the best that it took me this long. The ski down was much more pleasurable now that I'm more comfortable skiing powder. I'm not nearly as good a skier as TJ or Megs but I can enjoy myself rather than just do the 'survivor skiing' thing.
On March 23/24 I joined Kevin Papke for the first summit attempt on his quest for 50 summits in a "Summits for Seniors" fundraiser in his 50th year. Considering his birthday is on March 22nd Kev wasted no time to start his summit bids!
The guide book is obviously out-of-date on these climbs, or at least the access to these climbs but in doing some research on the internet on Thursday night I was a bit more prepared for the actual difficulty. Both Rick Collier (bivouac.com) and Alan Kane indicated quite clearly that they consider these two mountains difficult.
After summitting the highest mountain completely within Alberta and the third-highest in the whole Canadian Rockies at 12,238 feet high, we were ready to tackle one of the most exposed snow ridges and high altitude snow arete climbs in the Canadian Rockies - Twins Tower.