The official summit of a long ridge above highways 742.
Axel and I headed out on a gorgeous morning to try and summit this by Andrew Nugara's newly printed route.
Click to view full map
The trail and directions essentially consist of 'find correct drainage. go up. turn a little, turn a little, go up.'
The route marked is a guess once it leaves the drainages, as we were never quite certain where we were.
The 'double drainage' was distinctive, and we set off up the mostly dry creekbed.
At the beginning, it was an interesting mess of rock-hopping and debris-dodging.
As we continued up the creek, almost always able to walk right up the bed, it turned into some neat slabby terrain.
The ascent up the drainage continued until we broke into sunlight right around a distinctive split in the beds.
Low-lying clouds in the valleys on our way out.
Interesting maze in the bottom of the creekbed.
The first waterfall cascade.
Axel making his way up the side of a steep part.
Axel heading up the cool slabs.
The sun blinds our view of the rocky parts ahead.
Really cool folding and cleaving in a rock along the side.
At this point there is a mistake in the text of the book (More Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies).
While the photo clearly shows a jog right, then turn left up slabs, the text reads simply
"...the drainage splits. Take the left fork, arriving at a slab about 100m up."
This should read (as posted by Mr. Nugara on the rmbooks forum) "...the drainage splits. Take the right fork.
Shortly after, the drainage splits again. Take the left fork, arriving at a slab about 100 m up."
Anyways, we took the left fork, and pioneered our own route, I guess.
I suspect that once above the trees, the terrain is similar everywhere, and you can take any of a number of similar ascents.
The left fork we took.
The right and correct fork - which should fork again left soon.
Axel near where we turned off up slabs.
Really neat frost patterns on a rock.
More cool frost.
Looking further up the left fork that is the wrong way.
The slabs we turned up.
Despite being up the 'wrong' side, the left fork seems to have slabs starting ~100m up as well, which we began to climb.
At the beginning, it was mostly easy walking up great rock, though a few places required handholds.
As we got higher, parts started to steepen, and we had to look more carefully for good spots that were not too steep or loose.
Axel climbing around a bit.
Axel climbing up a great slab. -Ascent drainage in the background
Cool geodic thing in a rock.
Axel using an outcrop for help up a steep bit
Walking along a bit of vegetation for better stability.
The slabs get a little steep for comfort.
Mishmash terrain near the top.
We topped out at a low point in the long ridge, and were blasted by wind.
Uncertain of our position, but expecting to be south of the summit, according to the route directions, we could not determine the true summit.
There was a high point directly south of us, as well as one a ways north along the ridge.
We decided to aim for that south of us, as the ridge looked above our comfort level between us and the north high point.
Now, knowing that we climbed up rather north of the intended description, I suspect the true summit was, in fact that one.
Looking towards the high point south.
High points north of us along the ridge.
Pano shot of peaks to west.
Basin between Kent Ridge (continues along left) and Mounts Inflexible and Lawson.
Empty Warspite Lake (lower cirque) and Black Prince Cirque
(above the headwall) below unnamed and Mount Black Prince.
Mount Joffre (3450m) covered by the Mangin glacier. Indefatigable and Invincible in foreground.
Mount Smith-Dorrien (3155m) Mount French behind, and Robertson peeking over.
We decided to try for what we chose to call the summit, but getting closer, we were warned off.
The ridge up to it was not desirable, and the terrain to access it straight up was steeper and looser than we wanted to try.
Becoming concerned about our ability to descend at all, we chose not to try for the summit, and instead seek a better way down.
Made for some interesting routefinding practice at this point.
Slope we chose not to ascend.
From our highpoint, looking down our hopeful descent line.
Axel on the way down.
Picking down the loose rock in another drainage.
Closer view of our objective - so far okay!
Looking back up the terrain we descended.
Looking back up the drainage we returned by.
I believe that somewhere up here is the correct ascent route.
Axel starting back down the main 'trail'.
We found our way down to the saddle without too much trouble, then quickly descended a loose slope which connected to
the right fork of the drainage we'd turned from in the beginning.
I'm not sure where exactly, but somewhere along the last part of our descent is the proper trail up.
an interesting obstacle on the way down the drainage.
Axel making his way through the rubble.
Piglet checks out the slabs.
Piglet finds a wee waterfall.
Piglet and his waterfall.
This turned out to be an awesome trip - an interesting route the entire way, great scambling, and incredible weather.
While our route was very enjoyable, I'll have to come back and try again to check out the intended route, and see if I can make the summit after all.
Photos taken by Rachel.
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