FKT: Michael Burke - Mt Sir Donald (BC, Canada) - 2020-08-11

Route variation
Northwest Ridge car-to-car
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
4h 26m 28s

On August 11 I went for the FKT on Mount Sir Donald's awesome NW Ridge.  I'd been hoping to do it the previous day but the forecast was wrong and the route was wet from heavy overnight rain.  August 11 was not much better but it was the only other day during a camping trip with my family that it would work so I gave it a go.  I thought there was a good chance I'd only make it as high as the Uto-Donald col but even that would be a fun run.  I carried more gear than I usually would, due to the unsettled weather and snow high on the route.  Gear list included storm jacket, puffy, hat and mitts, and emergency bivy sack.  There is cell reception up the whole route so I did not carry an inreach.  Since I did not bring a rope, and the route gets unusually slippery when wet, I had enough gear to make an unplanned bivy should the showers forecast for the evening arrive early.

I left the trailhead at around 10:30am, hoping the route would dry up a bit more.  At the col the skies were overcast but the route looked decent.  I took a quick break to eat and make a decision and then decided to give it a try. Up to about 3,000m the rock was dry and climbing fantastic.  Above, the rock was damp and slippery with patches of snow here and there.  This slowed me down a bit but was manageable.  At least I had the whole route to myself which was a nice treat.  I descended by downclimbing the ridge which took about the same time as the ascent.  At the col I took my last gel, drank the last of my water, and booked it back to the trailhead. 

Fun day, felt quite tired by the end of it.

Rough splits...

Bivy site: 0:59

Col: 1:25

Summit 2:33

Col: 3:39

Trailhead: 4:26