Mount Colonel Foster is on Vancouver Island, B.C., At 2,135 metres it is the fourth highest peak on the island.
In Jan. 1978, Joe Bajan and Ross Nichol made the first winter ascent of Foster’s 1,000-metre east face while making the first ascent of Direttissima, V, AI5. There have been many ascents of the route.
In February 2014, Vancouver Island alpinists Hunter Lee and Mike Shives climbed Direttissima for its first, and potentially, only ascent of the year.
In a recent correspondence with Gripped, Lee said, “With a flawless weather forecast for most of the Island, the weather window and underlying conditions to climb Vancouver Island’s crown jewel, Mt. Colonel Foster, couldn’t have been better. Initially Mike Shives and I were going to climb a new route on the back side of the mountain, or attempt a full summit traverse. Upon seeing the condition of the Colonel’s classic winter route, Direttissima, our climbing plans were set in motion. The first day of climbing lasted 18 hours, with difficulties reaching WI4. At 1 a.m. we found ourselves a tiny bivy cave 15 meters from the summit ridge, and settled in for a brew and rest. The next day we were greeted with stellar conditions once again, unlimited visibility and virtually no wind. After navigating a tricky mixed section above our bivy site the remaining climb to the summit presented itself, and soon afterwards we found ourselves standing upon Colonel Foster’s summit.”
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For more Vancouver Island alpine climbs this, 2014, season: