The budding partnership of Valeri Babanov and Raphael Slawinski has completed yet another winter-conditions route on a classic face of the Canadian Rockies. On April 10, the two climbed a probable new route on the Northeast Face of Mount Andromeda in the Columbia Icefield area, zig-zagging up the steep face to the right of the classic testpiece Andromeda Strain. The new route follows mostly snowed-up rock and ramps and ends right on the summit of 11,319-foot Mount Andromeda. Slawinski and Babanov called it M31, named not for its difficulty but for the Messier number, or classification, of the Andromeda Galaxy. Indeed, the difficulties maxed out at only M4 or so, and the two men completed the new route in an 11-hour round-trip from the car.
The line of M31, Mount Andromeda, Canadian Rockies.Photo courtesy of Raphael Slawinski.