Burgess and Walcott


Mount Burgess, Yoho


Downclimbing Mount Burgess, Yoho Park

We really did steal a day weather wise as we had good weather and even some sun and yet we drove back through rain at LL and Banff.  Nice to get both peaks and these are really two different scrambles. Walcott (North peak) is listed as an Easy scramble but the scree gully is very rotten and the rain this year has eroded the dirt which makes footing worse and the scree less stable. It also gets narrow and steeper at the top. Definitely need small parties and climb as clean as can or someone will get beaned which puts it in a different category than most Easy scrambles. The top of the gully intersects the side of bigger gully and has two big cairns with ribbons that you need to remember on the way down. We went left over a drainage to the main ridge which leads to the summit of Walcott. Three hours and 15 min for me which is fast for 1300 m.

The South peak – main Burgess summit – is the real prize – an overlooked fun Difficult scramble. Kane’s description is really lame and understated. We descended from Walcott on scree ramps to a bowl below the low point on the interconnecting ridge and then took a gully up to south side of the pinnacle. The correct gully is the third one from the left wall and it has a chockstone halfway up, the pinnacle at the top and several new cairns that we built at the bottom. We reached the ridge on the south side of the pinnacle which has the infamous narrow ledge on its west side. We then worked our way up onto the ridge which was fun difficult scrambling all the way to the summit. A bit loose but more and better scrambling than many of the popular well known scrambles. Back down the ridge and gully and then down into the bowl and cut up and across the bottom of the main Walcott ridge to come out just above the top of the descent gully.

Overall a great day, two peaks and glad to help Vern get his list down to one left.

My camera died so most are Vern’s pics which are really good! – an advantage to scrambling with a semi professional photographer!

Pics at Burgess Walcott  full screen slideshow is best

Verns Walcott and Burgess

About Bill Kerr

Weekend climber, scrambler and backcountry skier from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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