top of page

Hiding in Plain Sight, Mt. Tuzo 600m WI5 M5 FA

This takes the obvious strip of ice on the left side of Mount Tuzo's east face. The ice through the headwall is quite steep and is the highlight of the route. Approach is only 2-3 hours from moraine lake so if formed early or late in the season, would be a reasonable day trip, otherwise the usual long slog up the road to a camp near the lake is required.

The line appears to form regularly. We climbed it late in the season in a year when other nearby routes were quite lean or not in at all. Some of the lower ice steps were not well formed or too thin for our tastes, requiring some traversing and easy mixed climbing, but in a good year the whole line could likely be climbed on ice making for a better route overall.

This route is threatened by significant avalanche terrain and numerous large cornices in spring and obviously cooks in the sun on clear mornings. Good conditions are a must and fall would be safest time to climb this in general.

Rack: 5 cams, 5 pins, set nuts, 10 screws

Approach: From Moraine Lake head up valley, over the Wenkchemna Glacier, and up into the cirque formed by Peren, Allen and Tuzo until below the route. Boot up a couple hundred meters of easy snow to the first rock band.

Many options exist for the lower half of the route, which is mostly easy with a few short cruxes through the rock bands. I`ll describe the line we took. Take the line with the most ice through the 1st rock band past a short steep section (WI4). Pass the 2nd rock band via an easy gully (WI3) about 50m to the right. Continue up and left and breach the 3rd rock band at its smallest point (M4R), and move 40m back left to the main ice flow. Avoid the delaminated thin ice strip by climbing the obvious gully on the left (70+m, M5) and move back right to the ice. The headwall is sustained steep ice (WI4-5), and was climbed in 3 pitches (50m, 30m, 40m). Above, 150m of steep snow gains the south ridge. The summit is 1hr of easy scenic ridge travel away and worth the effort.

Descent: We descended the route in a total of 9 rappels (three rock anchors, the rest on ice) plus some downclimbing.

Hiding in Plain Sight - Line

Alik Berg looking up at the ice to come

Descending the route

bottom of page