Mount Atha-B West Buttress
We climbed the 5 pitches of the East Chimney of
Mount Athabasca on Thursday May 12th. 2 hours saw us at the base of the first pitch from the parking lot. From the regular AA col approach it was an hour up wind-packed snow patches and rock slopes with minimal to no avalanche hazard .
The first two ice pitches were not in (likely there in fall) but a moderate traverse in from the left on the first, followed by a moderate step on the second led to the snow bowl and a traverse to a gully up to the main classic 3rd pitch. This pitch features a continuous under-vertical crack which takes good pro and goes at an easy M5. We added an upper pitch out of the junction with the Slawinski Takeda, to a snow walk to a nice flat lunch spot overlooking the AA approach.
By down-climbing the snow we added an anchor to reach the fixed anchors on the S-T, which was rappelled in 3 60 meters. The lower S-T gully was knee deep snow and would be difficult trail-breaking to ascend.
Overall a worthy mini-alpine route that adds another moderate outing to the buttress.