Rarely Formed Rockies Route is Big and Classic
In the northern reaches of the Canadian Rockies is a big ice climb, which has only formed a few times since the first ascent in the late 1990s.
Conrad’s Coloumn is a nearly 500-metre ice climb near Mount Robson. Its tiered pitches offer mostly steep climbing with reportedly excellent views. In summer, it’s a huge waterfall in the Valley of a Thousand Falls.
With only a few ascents to date, including one in January 2015 by Dana Ruddy, Sean Elliot and Carl Diehl, Maurice Perreault and his partners Rob Denson and Olivier DiMaria climbed Conrad’s Column on March 1, 2015.
The climb faces east and is protected from the sun. All other ice route in the valley had melted out. The guidebook notes the climb as 200 metres, but Perreault’s team climbed a total of 400 metres. He notes that the first ascent party might have stopped after the difficult and steep climbing. If so, then Perreault’s ascent added four pitches of moderate climbing. he noted there was more ice above, but they ran out of time.
“An excellent, and highly recommended route that should be on everyone’s list. Expect a long day of climbing and possibly awesome views of Robson,” said Perreault. “According to Ken Wallator, who is knowledgeable about the area, ‘This route does not come in often.'”