Running in the Shadows on the Emperor Face

On September 29th, 2020, Uisdean Hawthorn and I hiked into Berg Lake to see if we could climb the Emperor Face of Mount Robson. Although the face was shrouded in fog all evening, we woke up early on the 30th and started moving upward under the stars. We ended up climbing a new route between Infinite Patience and the Walsh-Kruk. We had a decent bivy on the Emperor Ridge and reached the summit the next evening. After settling in for a cold night on the summit we descended back to the car the next day. It was a memorable experience with a good friend.

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Glimpses of the face the evening before our ascent. It wouldn’t fully reveal itself… Photo: Uisdean Hawthorn
Climbing through ‘The Jaws’ just before our route branches right. Me thinking I was going to get gear. Photo: Uisdean Hawthorn
Uisdean navigating a rock step low on the route. Photo: Ethan Berman
Uisdean enjoying the good conditions on the route. Photo: Ethan Berman
About to launch into my crux lead. Spicy chilis. Photo: Uisdean Hawthorn
Heading toward the rimed up Emperor Ridge on day 2. Photo: Uisdean Hawthorn.
Uisdean following up one of the last pitches to the summit. The sky partly cleared just as we needed to make key route finding decisions. We still messed up the beta but got back on track shortly after. Photo: Ethan Berman
Summit wankers. Photo: Uisdean Hawthorn
It’s all about having fun ain’t it! Photo and rancid stench: Uisdean Hawthorn
C’moooooonnnn sun! Photo: Uisdean Hawthorn
Ah. Warming up and heading down. It felt good after 3000 meters up over the last few days. 3000 meters straight down didn’t feel so good after…. Photo: Uisdean Hawthorn
Turning on auto pilot for a few… Photo: Uisdean Hawthorn.
Bagged on the descent. Photo: Ethan Berman
The face during my initial recon in October 2018. Objects in mirror are slightly larger than they appear. Photo: Ethan Berman.