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Climb Mt. Tupper in Rogers Pass

Rogers Pass, British Columbia


Added by Tam McTavish

The west ridge on Roger's Pass' Mt Tupper is a spectacular alpine climb. Relatevely close to the road with a total distance of 6km ad 1400 metre it's a pretty solid day out that can be broken into two if need be. The ridge offer superb 3rd, 4th, and short bursts of 5th class climbing with a couple easy 5.5-5.6 pitches thrown in. As intro alpine climbs go, it's a Selkirk Classic.

Mt Tupper is an alpine rock climb. This means that while graded technically easy this can be a challenging on committing route and feels much harder then the 5.5 grade it receives. There is a good deal of difficult exposed scrambling. The ridge has nowhere to bail except the direction you came, and bad weather moves in incredibly fast. The route is also lichen covered quartzite which when wet is exceedingly slippery. It is often better to wait many hours for the rock to dry then repeat technical climbing. Alpine appropriate clothing, and preparations should be taken. It is also highly recommended to get a copy of  the appropriate guidebook, as with any alpine adventure.

While Mt. Tupper's West Ridge can be done in a single day from the carpark, it's recommended that groups with less scrambling experience do it over two days. The Hermit Meadows Camp site really breaks up the day, and gets the hard initial approach over quickly.

From the carpark follow the instruction for The Hermit Meadows Trip to the campground.

From here follow the path tthat heads east. it goes down into a meadow before breaking up beside a waterfal as it heads into the talus. Pick your way through the Talus, along a moraine ridge, this takes you up through rockbands to the ridge proper of Mount Tupper. 

The guidebook basically instructs the climbers to follow the ridge exactly until you reach a gendarme. This is mostly on excellent 3rd class scrambling between huge blocks of quartzite, with the odd section of brief fourth class here and there.  

When you approach the first steeper section it's tempting to head to one side of the ridge over the other. While unlikely the route directly up the ridge crest is quite good, and easier. 

The next awkward part is when you get to a subpeak, and face what seems like an impossible down climb to get to the gendarme traverse. The easiest route appears to be back track, and downclimb the southern aspect of the ridge. In reality, if you peer over the rather steep edge on the more northern side of ridge there is a tiny ledge that you can awkwardly lower yourself down onto and traverse back to the ridge crest. 

Immediately beneath this is a set of bolts, and while you can use them to descend the awkward cracks that run beneath the gendarme, it's just as easy not to. 

From here it's up to the actual climbing pitches. There are three options. A awkward chimney (5.3) that lacks in proper handholds but offers little exposure, or the more interesting, but wandery, rope draggy, corner (5.6) to the south that moves through weird mantels, and between large cracks. 

There is also a 5.8 crack off to the North that can be excellent climbing, though it would require more heavy trad gear then is worth bringing for a single pitch. 

Above this is more superb scrambling, that has a few 4th class moves, onto a wide shelf. From here a awkward extremely exposed but easy step takes you up and over to final 5.4 pitch to the summit.

The descent is back whence you came using the bolts at the top of each of the challenging sections. But it's still lot's of down climbing and scrambling so make sure to leave plenty of energy in the tank.  

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