Daly Aug 5, 2017

High on Mt Daly – descending – 7 hours into a 12 hour day.

Lower Niles meadows – good trail to right leads up to upper meadows.

Do not underestimate Mt Daly. There is no trail after Niles col and you sidehill down and across broken rock, snow and a small glacier. need to have crampons or microspikes to cross in morning or go down and around. The up past the pyramid is reasonably solid but the scree fan is steep loose dirt or hardpan with unstable broken quartzite rock.  We went to left to shorten slog but not pleasant.  The big ledge is good but does have one step over gap which is worse coming back as both sides are slanted.  Two ways up –first weakness(left) is difficult and second (right) is moderate with lots of loose rock on black ledges.  To access the RH weakness need to do the one long step over gap.
Broken Quartzite is terrible rolly scree and above the black ledges are large unstable blocky quartizte boulders most of way up to ridge. The rest of the way to first summit is just smaller broken rock but it never gets easy except for snow patches.

Second summit(North) may be same height or lower but does have cairn and register. Some M/D downclimbs and exposure on ridge.

We hiked into upper meadows ~ leisurely 4 hours and bivied – great tent spots on grass with running water.  Dave did Niles in < 2.5 RT(we had done it before)

Next day  – Sat did Daly and out – 12 hours.

Picked fri/sat partly based on smoke animation on Enviro Canada site as predicted north winds/flow and smoke was all cleared out for both days.

About 30 km RT and 1500 m – camp to Daly was 1070 m with loss and regain of 90 m and regain of 100 m on way out.

Pics – most are Dave or Wietse – thanks

 

Fox July 26, 2017

Frozen Lake and Fox Lake, Kananaskis

Difficult scramble – Ridge route from Kane book.  Took bike ~5 km to AB/BC border. Hike good trail to frozen lake then right around lake past/beneath  a rock wall, then angled up black dirt to ridge. Some trail.  Ridge was very loose in places and down was as hard as up as needed to concentrate.

Good hike out and bike ride fun except for big hill.

Pictures

Mount Bryant July 9, 2017

On pillar – rockband 1/3 the way up Bryant

Trip wit Kevin P.  17.6 km and 975 m.  Very hot and dry and plenty of mosquitoes.

Grind up broken rock from lake. Not much scree.

Pics

The Turret July 1, 2017

Happy Canada Day

Turret by bushwack Kane route direct from the Lake.  about 9-10 km RT  900m 4 hr up – all off trail bushwack and 3 hr down

Pics

 

Ptarmigan Peak June 24, 2017

Ptarmigan Peak Lake Louise Banff Park

Ptarmigan Peak Snow descent – hard overnight freeze so snow was firm for steep part but punchy lower down.

Summit ridge of Ptarmigan – kicking steps down into notch – serious exposure to gully on right and where does cornice start on left?

Bike, hike and alpine snow climb on a good overnight freeze. About 1400 m and 21 km.

The down climb to notch was exposed. See pics.

Pics

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