Uto and Sir Donald, Rogers Pass, Glacier National Park - July 31 - August 2, 2002
elevation: 2927m
approach: Illecillewaet campground
ascent route: southwest ridge - 5.1, PD
descent route: southwest ridge
elevation gain: 1700m (car to summit)
time: we turned back early on
Sir Donald
elevation: 3297m
approach: Illecillewaet campground
ascent route: northwest ridge - 5.4, D
descent route: northwest ridge
elevation gain: 2075m (car to summit)
time: 16.5h Matt, 30h Steph (read on)
The Sir Donald group lies near Rogers Pass, just south of the Trans-Canada in Glacier National Park. The northwest ridge of Sir Donald is a well-known alpine rock route which I had partially ascended with Greg Squires in August 2000. Matt and I intended to hike up the approach trail to the bivouac site below Sir Donald, leaving camp gear and food there, and to continue on to climb the southwest ridge of Uto on the same day. After spending the night below the col, we would climb the northwest ridge of Sir Donald on the following morning and descend back to the car.

On the morning of July 31, we reached the bivouac site in increasing cloud cover. After setting up the tent and making soup to wait out the weather, we decided to give Uto a go. Shortly after starting the climb, the weather worsened and we returned to the tent for the afternoon. On August 1, we rose to mostly clear skies and climbed Sir Donald, reaching the summit just after 13:00. On the descent, at about 2800m, Steph took a 15m fall, resulting in some serious injuries including two broken wrists, two skull fractures, and a broken nose. With 300m of climbing remaining down to the col and Steph's hands no longer functioning, he was unable to descend and required a helicopter rescue on the morning of August 2. One week later, Steph was released from Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.

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