Location: Moraine Lake
Summit Elevation (m): 3234m
Elevation Gain (m): 400m
Total Distance (km): 5.00km
Total Time: 3-5 Hours (2-3 hour ascent from hut)
Difficulty: III, 5.3
Water Available: Hut
Cell reception: Reliable at Summit
Rating: 4/5 A classic, if it wasn’t for the terrible rock in places this route would be perfect. There is a little bit of everything: ice in late summer, a huge bergschrund to cross, steep snow, and technical rock. All of that being only a few hours from the hut! (Also possible as a day trip).
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From the Neil Colgan Hut, head out to the right and drop down to Fay Glacier. Walk to the base of Mount Fay and you will see multiple snow slopes leading to the west ridge. The first is typically used as descent but can also be ascended however, I recommend climbing the second prominent snow slope as if you take the first you need to traverse around a very loose rock tower. From the top of the slope the route mostly follows the ridge but cuts in (right) towards the south frequently. Coming down we noticed traversing right a little more may lead to easier terrain. I didn’t take any photos sadly, but it is very obvious once you’re on the ridge, you can’t really go wrong. Near the top of the ridge there is a large platform/ledge before the final 5.3 step, up is the only way to go and there is a fixed station at the top. From here just continue along the relatively flat summit glacier and ridge to the true summit!