Trip Report – Wedge N. Arete Attempt

On August 12, 2011, I climbed the N. Arete of Wedge Mountain in a day by myself. Without realizing it, exactly one year later, Sarah and I set off to climb the same route. We got an early start from Squamish and left the trailhead around 6:30am. It took just two hours to get up to the lake where we changed into our boots.

Approach hike to Wedgemount Lake.
The lower glacier has burned down to blue ice. The upper glacier still has a fair amount of snow. We had harnesses and a rope for glacier travel but never ended up using them. Another climber in the campground told us the faster route up the glacier was impassible so we headed for longer ridge route.

Traveling on the Wedge glacier and climbing up the N. Arete.
Going along the ridge requires taking crampons on and off and lots of crumbly rock scrambling. We made it to a point just below the summit ridge where the snow petered out and left mostly rock. With no proper climbing gear, we decided we didn’t want to deal with the final difficulties and turned around. I was stuck by the contrast to last year where the entire ridge had been a mellow snow climb.

Crevasse fields and glacial scenery.
The icefall in the Wedge Glacier and the expansive Weart Glacier provided nice scenery. Even without summiting we had a nice day in the alpine. We slipped our way down the glacier back to the lake where we thankfully switched back to running shoes. A quick fill-up of water and we were on our way down the trail. The descent trail is tough even with light packs and shoes and we were suffering by the time we got back to the car.

Wedgemount Lake.

Google Earth view of our route to Wedge; Elevation profile of the day; Dotted green line indicates long route up the ridge, red line shows crevasse preventing access to short route.
Trip Stats:
22.2 km Distance
2573 m Elevation Gain
2715 m High Point
3396 kcal

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