Unity Peak and Purple peak June 17, 2017

Unity Peak Lake Louise area Banff Park Scramble from Purple Peak

Summit of Unity Peak June 17, 2017

Cool cloudy windy day with a very alpine feel but manged to get this loop in.  Road bike to Temple lodge and then went up left side of ski area and crossed creek to side hill the West side of Wolverine Ridge.  Some boulder fields, avi debris, and bushwack but no snow so angle up following games trails. Crossed above the headwall where you ski out of Purple valley and kick steps in dirt up to the notch on Wolverine Ridge.  Original plan was to cut across upper wolverine valley to hit ridge at base of Unity cliffs but too much snow so we went up ridge to Purple peak and then ridge to Unity.  The traverse around the RH side of the pinnacle on the ridge was alpine(bring your axe) but good steps there now. Took the moderate route up Unity – ramp of broken quartzite rock on RH side of cliff and then route finding up various steps, walls and snow patches.  Some slow careful work as quartzite is slippery when wet and snowy.  Summit is one person size. Went along broken top and then down NW ridge to col with Redoubt outlier.  Took a gully down but it was very broken and running with water and cliffed out so escaped to skiers left on ledges to easier ground – moderate scrambling.  There was a snow gully to west but too steep and hard in cold weather. Easier gulley looks to be farther west.   Went down steep dirt over slabs lead down to good dirt and fast descent to mossy wet/snowy valley and out the trail(same as skier exit) on left side of creek at valley exit down to skoki trail and back to bikes.  Eight minute exit on bikes.  17 km, 1180 m, about 7 hrs with breaks.  5 hrs up and 2 hrs down and out.

Pics    

Added some good pics from Wietse – thanks.

First click get pics with comments – double click -bigger pics but no comments and same on slideshow.

Opal North June 4, 2017

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Good chat comparing scrambles and routes

A few ways up to the ridge on this one. We followed the lower powerline south into the scrubby trees in the ditch until hit some blue flagging and the followed a steep trail straight up to the second powerline. Note there is trail coming in from south here – probably from picnic area which might be an easier start.  We then followed orange flagging straight up to ridge which was a little steep and slabby at top near the ridge(some moderate and exposed moves – would not like if wet).  There were some trails leading off to climbers left which would have been less slabby and lower angled. Came out at a cairn and good dirt trail along ridge in trees. Good trail the rest of the way to top.

On the way down we went by the cairn on the ridge top dirt trail and followed it until the trail faded and we hit a cairn and trail turned down. Followed a less slabby switch backed trail down and across some open areas but eventually the trail faded and we angled left to meet up with our original up trail.

6.3 km 880m about 3 hours up with stops to chat – about 8 groups and most went up or down a different way!

Pics

Lady MacDonald May 22, 2017

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First section of Lady MacDonald summit ridge

RT  1250m, 11 km and 6.5 hours including breaks.

First 950 m to paraglider ramp was 2hrs 20 min – the trail is much improved and 45 min for next 300 m to ridge.

Very sunny and hot – sunburnt legs

Pics

Spring ski at Sunshine Friday May 19

One of best spring skiing days in memory. Outstanding coverage as never clipped a rock or dirt all day and the snow was fantastic on the steep stuff. Great slush, sunny and great views.

Bellevue Hill May 12, 2017

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Bellevue Hill with Galwey behind. Rained all the way down.

Friday – Drove down to Pincher Creek to try Victoria Peak but looked like still has too much snow – add in some new rain/snow showers at 8 am so we moved onto Waterton. Bellevue was dry until summit and then rained hard on us all the way down. Went up the RH Nugara fault route on East Face which had some nice hands on moderate rock in places up to and along the ridge. Rest was a hike with half a dozen ticks. Went down on south ridge direct to road which was fast descent in rain and shorter. Circuit was 835 m and 8.7 km including 1.5 km hike along road back to car, about 4 hours RT.

 

Pictures 

Prairie Bluff, East Castle April 22, 2017

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Plan C after finding 5 to 20 cm of new snow

I like Dave’s summary from FB: This was a “plan C” and ended up being a great half-day wander after the twin irritations of encountering a woman driving in reverse at full speed on the center lane of MacLeod Trail south as we left town(she missed her off ramp!), and me accidentally puncturing a bear spray cartridge with my ice ax as we packed up to go at the trailhead. We chose this objective in lieu of a scramble due to about 5-20 cms of new snow that had blanketed the East Castle region the previous evening. (Dave could have chucked his axe towards his bear spray a 1000 times and never get it to hit the can let alone puncture the can – fortunately we worked things out and had a great day.

Sunny for most of trip(some sunburns), very calm and no ticks.

8 Km RT, 730 m and 4 hrs 23 min including summit time

 

Pics

Anklebiter Ridge April 8, 2017

 

 

 

Dave1Scramble 5.7 km, 860 m, 5.5 hrs – lots of postholing and time deciding on doing loop.

Similar but easier than doorjamb.  Good trail from Grotto pond park lot and turn right up trail on ridge. Several trail options but want to keep to ridge crest so keep RH of slabs as scree trails to the climbers left are treadmill down tracks.

Some deeper snow. More after first summit. Too much snow on back side so did not do loop around to ridge to East.

Picked the right day weather wise.

Pics  Some Dave’s.  thanks.

North Peak – mt Burke April 1, 2017

Snowshoe thrash in the trees. about 700 m, 11 km and 5.5 hrs.

No pics

Doorjamb/Loder March 25, 2017

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Loder and Goat ridge from Doorjamb

Trying to avoid the snow. Mostly sunny day with not too much wind. Some snow in trees starting near top of DJ but good trail/steps on most.

Route:There are many variations and trails in trees on lower part but they all go up. Route issues start 2/3 way up DJ when you encounter a series of slabs on the right and you want to keep to the top or RH of slabs. These slabs get steeper and higher as you progress upward and you do not want to go along the bottom or left hand side.  There usually are several ways to get up each slab -either at RH edge/start, scramble a break, ledges, cracks, rough spots or friction the slab, etc. Crux slab is near top of DJ has two grooves that both work(see pic). Some thigh deep snow on a few sections in trees but lots of traffic so good trail. More snow between DJ and Loder but no issues.

About 800 m and 6.5 km RT

Pics

For perspective Pics from a previous trip in 2007   Some better pics of the slabs.

Willow Ridge by Chain Lakes March 18, 2017

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Dave on Willow Ridge looking South

Warm sunny windy day in the foothills(+ 14C in park lot at Chain Lakes). The Mountains to the West were white and had a big storm wall and of course the avalanche hazard is very high.

Left the snowshoes in the car. Trip with Dave, Wietse and Brian. About 14 km RT, 700 m accumulated up and over 4-5 ridges and 4:30 hrs.

Pictures (some Daves – thanks)