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Mount King George and Princess Mary - August 31 - September 2, 2019

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  • Mount King George and Princess Mary - August 31 - September 2, 2019

    After drying out my thoroughly soaked gear from the Victoria Traverse, I drove south toward Radium then into Height of the Rockies Provincial Park for my 6th, 7th, and 8th consecutive day (and 14/16). Except for a few rough spots, the road is in pretty good shape, but ruts suggest it can get soft when wet.

    The approach starts off at a pullout on the left (NW) side of the road by a very large cairn. The log across the Palliser River has been replaced, so follow the flagging and fresh cut trail (2019) to the river (2-3min). Beware that older GPX tracks may mark the crossing point for the old log; I am not sure where that is relative to the current one. The new log has been well rigged with ropes for balance--by David P Jones according to one source--and is easily crossed standing up.Once you climb and regain the main trail on the far side of the river, note where the new trail to the new log diverges and drop to the river. It is marked with blue flagging (2019) but is not overly obvious and could be easily missed. Hike 5min ESE (downstream) on the trail to a cutblock, where you can pick up bits of flagging trending N (picture 2) to treeline where the trail becomes distinct. Someone, again perhaps Jones, has done a considerable amount of chainsaw work and the trail is easy. to follow. At a washout (Picture 3) trend down and pick up the trail in a lower plane. Not too long after, enter a brief but bad blowdown section with a pick-up sticks pile of big timber. Avoid temptation to climb an avalanche path climber's right, and instead follow bits of flagging up and left to where the trail can be found departing the fallen timber (perhaps 100m total?). From here, the trail through the lower headwall is simple and easy to follow to the alpine, zigging around a couple of cliff bands en route. From here, follow it to and across the outlet stream from the Prince Albert/Prince George cirque, and back into trees for a short while, trying to maintain altitude, before being deposited into a broad avalanche slope. Hit this slope too low and you will face treacherous bushwhacking. If you stay high enough, you can cross easily over a small brook in light bush, aiming for a tree triangle below the S ridge of Mount Princess Mary. Keeping the main waterfall on your left, enter and ascend this triangle for 50-100m, sometimes steep, and emerge at a gorgeous treeline bivy near large boulders, with a voracious packrat that did considerable damage (2019). 4:15 to this point. Camp at your own risk, perhaps hopping the creek or plodding a bit further up to separate yourself from the rat.

    The following day we made ascents of the S glacier of Mount King George and W face of Mount Princess Mary. Day three plans of Mount Prince George and Mount Prince Albert were thwarted by rain, so we slept in and had a leisurely hike out.

    This rounded out my August with 11 peaks (including 7 11'000ers). More info in the photo captions.

    Last edited by Steven N; 15-Jan-2020, 02:52 pm.

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        Really cool report and mission thanks!