Scott and I try to do one winter and one summer adventure a year minimum. This summer, we managed
to find time together for a one-day tour up on the Icefields Parkway. The objective - to climb a
13 pitch 5.7+ route called Achilles Spire on Mount Andromache.


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After a reasonably early departure from Cochrane (5:15am), we had a quick bite in Canmore, and made the tour
to the Hector Creek trailhead. Here's Scott getting ready for our outing at the trailhead.


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While I think you can see the entire route almost from the parking lot, you need to be able to see the main
rock face before it really comes into view. After about 45 minutes of hiking up, we could see the main rock face
of Mount Andromache. Our climb is on the left side of this crag.


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This is Scott gazing off into the distance with Hector Lake in view.


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Once we got above the waterfall (having taken the Paterson direct approach), we started to get a bit of a view
of Little Hector. The main Hector glacier isn't in view yet.


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Here is the point at which we knew we were in the right place.


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Here is the actual route with a red marked route line.


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Here's a great spot for a morning sit and a reflection.


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Here's a look at almost the full route. This is where Scott left his sandwich and had to go back and get it.


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Here I'm just starting to get my first look at the Hector Glacier and Mount Hector. As we get higher, the view improves.


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Scott in his helmet and his apple enjoying the view prior to starting on our climb. We were almost exactly two hours
to this point, although that does include some running back for a sandwich and letting another group go ahead of us.
This is roughly 600m vertical from the starting point.


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Here is Scott at the top of pitch 2. The rock is a dolomite limestone that actually has a LOT of grip.


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It's sort of too bad that the fires are burning since it added haze to our photos and to our day. However, this was
a spectacular climb in an amazing setting so it's hard to complain too much. This is about 3 pitches off the deck.


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This is Scott on the steeper section of the 5th pitch. It's a little harder to see perspective here, but this looks
all the way down to the ground.


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This is at the top of the 5th pitch. Check out the view below this climb. Scott's reading the topo to get
a sense of where we're going next.


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After walking around the 3rd class pitch, we got ready for the main wall of this climb. Scott is at the bottom of the
8th pitch and has Bow Peak behind him. Bow Peak apparently has some excellent ski couloir on it, but with the amount
of trees around there, it seems like a long slog for one ski line.

Video about 6-7 pitches up



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This is at the top of the 8th pitch, just before the short chimney section. It's a pretty cool setting for sure.


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This is Scott on the summit pitch of Achilles Spire. For those keeping track, this was ~300m of vertical gain over
13 pitches of climbing.


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THIS is Mount Hector and this is why I want to ski this bad boy. This was almost 1000 vertical metres of gain
which is about 3 times the elevation gained in about an hour on the Grouse Grind, but it took us 7 hours to get there.


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Scott and Mount Balfour looking back at Hector Lake.

Video from the summit of Achilles Spire



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A nice picture of Scott on one of the 14 rappels down to the ground.


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Here's Scott after getting hit in the arm with a falling rock. He's still got a smile on his face from a great day
in the mountains.


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This is a great photo since Scott looks zoned out (similar to Mt Sir Donald) and the whole photo is fuzzy due to fog
on my lens. Nice work for an 11 hour day in the mountains.


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My car also celebrated a milestone with this trip, hitting 100,000 km in just 31 months of driving. Not bad.

Here's the route topo for anyone wanting to try this route: ROUTE TOPO

Here's the area on Google maps: Area map

Thanks to Scott for taking me up a gorgeous route.
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