Mt. Macdonald

  • Description

    Big Mac is a very prominent mountain in the Rogers Pass area. Its north face towers over the trans Canada highway and is so big and so steep that passerby’ers below rarely put in the effort to crank their necks back far enough to absorb the full magnitude of this giant face. If you are looking for something big and adventurous then do look to Mt. Macdonald’s NW Ridge Integral (D+ 5.8). This is a highly recommended route but it is a beast. Car to car times are into the 20+ hour mark so planning a 2 day trip with a high bivy is a good plan. The rock quality is excellent and the position is pure magic. Guests looking at this objective will need to be very fit and experienced because an ascent Big Mac is a BIG day no matter how you slice it. That being said there are also other ascent options like the Herdman Couloir (F 4th) which removes most of the technical aspect out of the equation and can get you to the summit in a much simpler way. Also, there are many more world class routes on the peak too so don’t be fooled by this description and think that there are only 2 routes up this beautiful peak. The two routes spoken about above are just the two that we decided to highlight for guiding purposes.

  • Grade

    5.8
  • Duration

    1-2 days
  • Aspect

    NW
  • Length

    9'459 / 2883m

  • Max Guiding Ratio

    1:1
  • Directions

    Glacier National Park. From Canmore, the drive to Rogers Pass in Glacier NP which is roughly 245km one-way (≈3hrs).
  • Approach

    Access to all climbs on Macdonald require crossing the turbulent Connaught Creek. For the NW ridge, Herdman Couloir and all descents the x-ing is made utilizing a fallen spruce tree. Then expect to bushwhack through the alder, which will likely be wet with condensation in the early morning so full gore-tex is highly recommended.

  • Descent

    From the summit, head down the SW ridge to the Herdman Couloir and then down the Herdman Couloir to the creek where you will retrace your approach steps. Other descent options exits too but this is the main one.

  • Routes Nearby

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