This 11,000’er is a classic skimo tour in the Canadian Rockies. Don’t be surprised if you see several groups heading up on a sunny day. Best when stability is good, the snowpack is deep, and the sun is out!
Notable: Ski Mountaineering, Glacier travel, Bootpacking, Scrambling, 11000’er
A short ways north of the Hector Lake, there is a small pull out on the west side of 93N. Across from here, there is the Hector Creek drainage heading east. Follow up the drainage to a large avy runout. Be cautious here as it steepens – there is overhead danger and you’ll be exposed while climbing. You’ll eventually come to a narrow gully and a waterfall. Typically, one can bootpack up if there is enough snow. On the rare occasion, crampons may be required. After the waterfall continue heading south-east (NE face of Little Hector) through the moraines. The route will steepen for about 100m as you gain the bench below Little Hector. Once on the bench, skirt around Little Hector – Mt Hector will soon come into view. It is wise to rope up at the toe of the glacier. There are many large crevasses on it. Typically, the route is slightly looker’s right, but be aware of the overhead danger from Little Hector and the ridge – avalanches do come down and cover the skin track towards late morning. The final ascent up the summit block often requires crampons, an ice-axe and possibly a rope. If the summit block climb isn’t your thing, the view from the sub-peak are almost as rewarding.
The descent is generally the same route, but be aware of sags/crevasses (people have fallen in). It’s a nearly uninterrupted 1600m descent.
Given some of the exposure, an early start is recommended if solar heating is a concern.