Summit Elevation (m): 2744 Elevation Gain (m): 1000 Trip Time (hr): 5.5 Total Trip Distance (km): 10 Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you sprain something Difficulty Notes: Easy hiking and scrambling on trail. GPS Track: Download GPX File Technical Rating: TL4; YDS (Hiking) Map: Google Maps On Thursday, August 27 2009 I took my whole family up Mount Fairview to check out what it looks like in the summer after previous doing it with my brother in April of 2004. Even the […]
On August 25, 2009 I got together with Marta and scrambled Protection Mountain, a.k.a. Television Peak in Banff National Park. I had heard lots from Marta on the RMBooks Web Board and read many of her trip reports with interest but we had never done a scramble or climb together.
Summit Elevation (m): 2776Elevation Gain (m): 1050Trip Time (hr): 6Total Trip Distance (km): 17Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 3 – you fall, you break something Difficulty Notes: Moderate scrambling on the Kane route, note that the approach is on a decommissioned trail with deteriorating conditions. GPS Track: Download GPX File Technical Rating: SC6; YDS (3rd) Map: Google Maps After scrambling Mount Chephren Keith Bott and I bivied in the Waterfowl Lakes campground with high hopes to summit Mount Sarbach the following day, August […]
After a solo scramble on Observation Peak, I met up with Keith Bott for the trek into the bivy on Mount Chephren on August 07 2009 in the evening. I had Chephren on the radar for a long time already and finally all the pieces of life aligned to allow me a good chance at this giant. And make no mistake about it. Chephren is every bit the giant you may have heard or suspected it is! Just gaze at it from the highway sometime and you’ll have a pretty good idea of how big this mountain really is.
Finding myself with a free weekend in the summer is a very rare occurrence, so when it happened on the weekend of August 7, 8 and 9 I arranged a 3 peak extravaganza! The first summit would be a solo effort so I chose something without a lot of difficulties and a short approach, Observation Peak.
On Thursday, July 30 2009 I joined Eric Coulthard from Edmonton on a trip up Mount Coleman in Banff National Park. In order to facilitate an earlier arrival back home to Calgary after the scramble, we both stayed overnight near the trailhead and agreed to leave the parking lot around 0530. This was my first scramble with Eric and we proved to have much in common, including our love of the mountains and our method of ascent.
On July 24, 2009 I soloed the scramble route up Eiffel Peak in Lake Louise, Banff National Park. Technically there is a hiking restriction of a minimum part of 4 to get in this area but I simply hiked between groups of tourists that were slower than me and figured as long as I stuck with the groups, I’d be fine. There are a LOT of people on the trails in this area in the summer anyway, but you should be aware that there are stiff fines if you are hiking solo.
After scrambling up Commonwealth Peak the day before, Keith and I found ourselves driving to the Mount Aylmer trailhead at Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park on Saturday morning, June 27 2009. I should point out that we were fairly tired. And it wasn’t because we did Commonwealth Peak in 3.45 hours the night before. It was because of the rude neighbors we had at the Spray Lakes campground!
After a successful and enjoyable weekend in Waterton the week before, Keith Bott and I decided for a repeat mini-trip, this time in Kananaskis and Banff. On this particular trip we would attempt Commonwealth Peak on Friday evening in Kananaskis Country and then Mount Aylmer in Banff the following day, on Saturday.
Summit Elevation (m): 2652Elevation Gain (m): 1600Trip Time (hr): 8 Total Trip Distance (km): 22 Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you might sprain something Difficulty Notes: Easy hiking and scrambling on grass / shale with some easy route finding.GPS Track: Download GPX File Technical Rating: OT3; YDS (Hiking) Map: Google Maps After big days on Akamina Ridge / Forum Peak and then Newman, Spionkop and Avion we were ready for a third big day on Sunday, June 21 2009. Since […]
Summit Elevation (m): 2621 Elevation Gain (m): 1600 Trip Time (hr): 10 Total Trip Distance (km): 28 Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you might sprain something Difficulty Notes: Long day trip that traverses three peaks – generally easy hiking and scrambling with some route finding. GPS Track: Download GPX File Technical Rating: OT3; YDS (Hiking) Map: Google Maps As part of a 3 day trip to Waterton Lakes National Park in the spring of 2009, Wietse, Keith, Anne-Marie […]
The weekend of June 19-21 found Wietse and I in pursuit of some Waterton Lakes National Park peaks. Originally we were going to attempt a wrap of our remaining Kane Peaks in Jasper National Park but the weather had other plans. Since I still had one Kane Peak left in Waterton and the weather forecast for that area of Alberta was much more favorable than Jasper, we changed our plans. As the weekend drew closer I was not feeling too optimistic about it.
After descending Hornecker we were staring at the steep south ascent slopes of Windy Peak. We grunted up the slope and were soon battling very strong wind (what did we expect right?!) to the 5th summit of the day. Windy Peak is just a hike, but we had great views of some cloud formations coming over the Rockies to the west and a little bit of wind wasn’t ruining our day any!
Due to route choices, JW, Keith and I actually did about 75-100 extra meters of height gain on this small peak. Ironically we were trying to avoid bushwhacking and JW and I ended up in some very thick and thorny trees! We dipped all the way down to the col between Windy Peak and Hornecker, instead of cutting climber’s left much earlier.
My 200th summit!! OK – not a very impressive summit but it’s a milestone that I’m quite proud of. Not many folks get up 100 summits in their lifetime and I was about to stand on my 200th! In order to get 200 summits you have to burn a LOT of calories, walk a LOT of kms and take a LOT of extra breaths! It’s also been a lot of adventures and a lot time spent pondering life and it’s many aspects.
After hiking up and down Coffin Mountain in just over 2 hours, we were feeling pretty good about our chances for a 5 peak day. As we waited for the people we spotted in the parking lot to catch up to us I noted that the sun was started to feel very hot. The climb up Mount Livingstone was looking like it would have us sweating, especially with no wind in the trees and the sun directly on our backs!
Our first peak of the day was Coffin Mountain. In order to facilitate a car-to-car traverse of these peaks, we drove two vehicles to the area. Wietse left his car at the end of the traverse, near the entry for Windy Peak and we all piled in my car for the short drive to the Coffin Mountain trail head. Apparently we didn’t read the instructions very good because the access road to Coffin was a bit more of a bush road than we were expecting!
Heart Mountain is an easy but fun scramble – and extremely popular. Since there was still no snow Jeff and I tackled this one in November 2001 and I repeated it along with Grant MacEwan again in January of 2009 as the same loop route.
Friday, November 7 2008 found me with a free day. I was just finished my contract with the City of Calgary and waiting to start my new one with a different company. Part of me wanted to get out and do something but the other, equally motivated part of me wasn’t motivated to do anything but sleep in! So that’s exactly what I did. I slept in till 08:00 and by the time my day was under way it was already 09:30. But what a day it was!
I’ve been waiting a few years to finish up the Kane peaks in Waterton National Park. I love Waterton, but it’s a long drive and often it’s so windy that it’s hard to enjoy the high places as much. Since it had been around 2 years since my last visit to this wonderful little park, and since the weather forecast was looking absolutely fantastic for a November day, Wietse and I decided it was time for us to give Waterton a chance.
On Saturday, October 18th 2008 Wietse, Naomi and I tagged the summit of Loaf Mountain in the East Castle area, just north of Waterton National Park. Due to a seasonal closure of the road that leads to the normal trail head, we had to walk an additional 4 km each way from a locked gate. This resulted in more exercise but also prevented us from bagging more than one peak, simply because time and energy wouldn’t allow for it. You can do Spionkop Ridge along with Loaf if you have the energy / time. You can also to Drywood Mountain and Loaf if you’re so inspired.
On Saturday, September 20th 2008, Keith, JW and I scrambled up Mount Bosworth in beautiful, sunny weather – the summer weather we never had in 2008! Originally we were supposed to be making an attempt at North Victoria Peak on this day but since the weather forecast was pretty good we decided to wait for a cloudy day to enjoy that 11,000er.
On Wednesday, September 17 2008 the crazy Pol (Raf K) and I decided that the beautiful weather had to be taken advantage of. We wanted two things. Scenery and scenery. We got them both. So where do you go if you want a good day out with great scenery? Well, it’s always a good bet to go either on a glacier or somewhere really close to a glacier so that you can take lots of pictures of the glacier. Mistaya Mountain was done this year by a few people that Raf and I know and the pictures from those trips bumped it up both of our priority lists.
To get to Og Mountain, we first had to hike along the Windy Ridge trail from the Assiniboine Lodge area and our Naiset hut. After getting some sublime morning sunrise shots of Mount Assiniboine early in the day, it was nice to walk past it again in full day light. With a plume of snow peeling off it’s lofty 11,871 foot summit it looked incredibly huge and intimidating.
Rod and I set off from the Jones Naiset Cabin around 16:00 on Thursday, September 4th under a mostly cloudy sky. There was very little wind and quite a bit of snow on the surrounding peaks but we were confident we could either scramble up Wonder Peak or The Towers and return before dark. The trail up to Wonder Pass went by quickly and was an easy 200 meters of height gain out of the way.