Mt Perren, South Ridge (II) via Neil Colgan hut

Please carefully read the gear requirements and trip difficulty ratings. It is the responsibility of participants to check for any updates, changes or cancellations before the day of the trip.

This trip is a 2 day ascent with a stay at the Neil Colgan hut, the highest structure in Canada and a excellent Alpine Club of Canada hut sitting above Moraine Lake and the valley of the 10 peaks.  After ascending to the hut, the next day we will cross the glacier and ascent Mt Perren (3051m) via the south ridge (grade II), requiring a few pitches of 40deg ice and a narrow rock ridge.  If ascent is quick, we may ascend one of the smaller peaks in the area such as Mt Little or Bowlen, before descending back to the vehicles.

This trip will be limited to 6 people and participants will be pre-screened.

Access to Neil Colgan Hut

Access to the hut is the crux of the trip, requiring extensive scrambling, climbing rock to 5.7 with heavy pack, lots of exposure and crossing a glacier.  Specifically, there are 4 pitches of roped climbing (5.4, 5.4, 5.7 and 5.4 again), along with a traverse that I expect we will protect as well.  I recommend that you be familiar with multi-pitch rock prior to signing up for this trip, as I will need to rely on participants to both climb and belay others.  I don't believe any of the pitches other than the 5.7 is equipped with bolts/chain, so trad protection is likely required.  We will be moving with 3 ropes, so I will be choosing a least 2 other participants who will be able to be in lead of a rope.

There is extensive objective hazard from falling debris.  I expect 8 to 10 hours to move the group from Moraine Lake to the hut, with an elevation gain of almost 1000 m. Once there, the hut is small but comfortable, with all cooking gear, and sleeping foamies.  A sleeping bag and all personal food are still items required from participants. See http://www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/facility/colgan.html for details about the hut.

Mt Perren

The elevation gain from the hut to Mt Perren is small, about 200m, but involves about 1h glacier crossing followed by 2 or 3 pitches of ice (up to 40deg) to reach the south ridge.  The ridge is narrow and leads to a small summit, which has great views.


Schedule and Plan

There will be an early departure from Calgary, allowing us to leave Moraine Lake parking lot at 8AM.  We will circle the lake and proceed up moraines to the rock pitches.  After the difficulty of the rock, we will cross the glacier to the hut.  I expect this to take all day, but if not, we will drop packs and after a rest climb one of the nearby peaks, which are just short scrambles.

I have booked the Neil Colgan hut for 1 night:  Saturday Sept 7. The cost of the  overnight stay at the hut, plus the backcountry park fee is $45.75 per person. Payment will be required to move participants from the waiting list to a "confirmed" status.

On Sunday Sept 8, we will ascend Mt Perren described above.  We will then descend via the same route as we ascended, doing rappels for each of the pitches.  This should be easier.

Gear: 
Glacier travel gear: crampons, harness, prusik cords and biners, 1 ice screw, some slings, some basic trad gear if you have it (nuts, small cams, draws) headlamp, sunglasses, sunscreen

Ice climbing gear: helmet, 2 ice tools, or 1 tool + mountaineering axe

Group gear will include ropes, and extra ice screws. Temperatures may be below freezing and windy so bring light winter clothing as well. Raingear is also mandatory.

Other Gear Items: 
Sleeping bag, food (all meals, cooking facilities provided for dinner), water containers (2-3 liters).

Waiting List and Payment:

We will be in touch by email before you make any payment. Cost for a participant without the hut upgrade from ACC nor a annual wilderness pass is $45.75.  Please provide me with a summary of your recent mountain experience (mountaineering, climbing, scrambling, backpacking...). Participants will be moved manually to the confirmed list after their suitability and skills for this trip are confirmed, and they have made the hut & bus payment.

Wilderness Pass

Included in the cost above is a 1-night Wilderness Pass from Parks Canada for the overnight stay at hut. If you already have the annual wilderness pass, or the Hut Upgrade for the alpine club of canada on your membership, let me know as this will reduce your cost.

CSMC 2013 Membership:

Make sure that you have paid for a 2013 membership with the CSMC. Payment can be made online or at the meeting location. Waivers are mandatory for every trip and can be printed online or filled out at the meeting location. Make sure to also bring extra money for carpooling costs.



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  • Mark

    Should comment that we got to the hut in 9.5 hours, scrambled Mt Bowlen the next morning in 75 minutes round trip (including a long stay at the peak) and descended from the hut in 5 hours. The 2 pitches of 5.4 trad are easily do-able in mountaineering boots, but the 5.7 crux I found difficult with boots and pack even with the chain. But well protected to make it almost "sport" for Pat who lead.

    September 9, 2013

  • Gerry R.

    The group size was just right, the weather mild and mountaineering right on the edge of my comfort zone. Mark and Pat are to be highly commended on keeping us safe and secure in less than ideal conditions.If you aspire to be a mountaineer getting to the Neil Colgan hut has to be on your to do list. Sorry my Mandarin accent sounded English Andrew but my hen is still OK. Xie,Xie.

    September 9, 2013

  • Mark

    Weather turned out better than expected and the group got up and down nicely.

    September 9, 2013

4 went

  • Mark
    Member 2015, RCA, AA2
    Event Host
  • ANDREW W.
    Member 2015,RC2,A1
  • Gerry R.
    Member 2015, RCA, AA1, Co-Organizer
  • A former member

Membership dues

CAD20.00 Before first outing

This covers: Club gear, subsidize training costs, Event Organizer incentives.

Payment is accepted using:

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Your organizer will refund you if:

  • Refunds will be offered at the discretion of the CSMC Executive and on a case by case basis.

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