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Alik Berg Climbs Big Line on Mount Temple

Mount Temple in the Canadian Rockies is one of Canada’s most iconic peaks with a number of classic alpine routes. Alik Berg recently climbed a potential new route up an obvious feature on the east-northeast aspect between Aemmer Couloir II and the East Ridge III 5.5.

At least one well-known route exists in this area and is called Striving for the Moon VI WI6, first climbed in 1992 by Barry Blanchard and Ward Robinson. It climbs a prominent gully system for 1,000 metres to the Black Towers on Temple’s East Ridge, followed by another 600 metres of climbing to the summit.

The most sought-after routes on Temple are up the north face and include The Greenwood/Jones V 5.10 and The Greenwood/Locke V 5.10.

Berg’s potential new route climbs the “gully” system west of Striving for the Moon. On social media, Berg said, “Climbed what I think is a new route to the right of Striving for the Moon on temple a few days ago. I found above average snow/travel conditions on the mountain especially on solar and windward aspects.

“Certainly not open season for traipsing through start zones, but with some care there is some good alpine climbing to be had in the Rockies right now. Hopefully more folks will take advantage and get after it before it snows again and goes back to the usual winter avalanche horror. Striving looks fat, and there is a nice track out larch valley for anyone keen for a long walk.”

The second ascent of Striving for the Moon was by Scott Semple, Greg Thaczuk and Eamonn Walsh in a 36-hour car-to-car push in November 2004.

“Walking like drunkards, I still feel like a dried husk,” Semple said the day after the descent.

Berg continued on social media with, “Striving is the line on that face and likely a bit harder too. This thing is just some choice leftovers.

“Some nice ice pitches in the bottom half and some fun moderate quartzite scrambling at the top. The climbing through the Black Towers is quite pleasant this time of year as well with lots of ice. Nothing too hard. Maybe WI4 M4 or so. The route is 90 per cent snow walking and the crux for me was most definitely walking across relatively flat snow in larch valley sometime in the night as I was a bit tired at that point.”

A: East Ridge / B: Striving for the Moon / C: Berg’s ascent