East End of Rundle
An early-season scramble in perfect spring conditions

At last, I have now made it to the summit of this classic scramble - it's a great view!


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Distance - ~2.25km Elevation gain - 900m
3hr, 40min ascent / 2hr, 15min descent

We hiked very slowly, as it was the first real hike my poor winter-atrophied legs had done this year.

We parked at Whiteman's Gap and walked back to the high point of the road to start.
The beginning of the trail climbs steadily through switchbacks in the trees.
There are a few breaks that give us a view to the southeast, and some optional rockbands to keep it interesting.

East End of Rundle.

Early trail below treeline.

Chinaman's Peak across the gap.

First view of the mountain ahead.

Old Goat Mountain.

Icy pond below Chinaman's Peak.

Gorgeous colours down below.

Axel scrambles up a slope.

We eventually break out of the trees, and stop on a rocky shoulder with a great view.
There is then one more stand of thick trees and drifted snow to wade through, and the trees are done.
There are a few more small stands of trees just big enough for a tough of shelter on a water break, but the views are open from here on.
We hike up alternate path, scree, and bits of snow, heading for the upper cliffbands.

View above treeline.

Rocky slop halfway up.

Axel hikes up with the Spray Valley behind.

Chinaman's and Lawrence Grassi behind Rachel.

Just below the cliffbands is a last surviving snowfield. We crossed this carefully, managing to stay mostly on top.
The grade steepens sharply approaching the cliffband, and the snowmelt from above left the talus a muddy mess.
We stuck to kickstepping up the snow tongues and made it to the cliffs.

Ivan and Axel hike towards the cliffbands.

Deeper snow near the top.

Kickstepping up to the cliffband.

Ivan and Axel take a break below the cliffs.

The scrambles book mentions another possible route involving a scramble right up the ridgeline, but with sketchy ground, we played it safe.
We scrambled up the first bit without too much trouble, then angled up and right along the bench between bands.
The ground was a mess of mud, slush, and snow, but by hugging the wall for some handholds, we made our way up.
When the wall above us died out, we continued up a few more steps and found ourselves on the summit.

Axel ascends the bench.

A view across Whiteman's Gap.

Summit!!!

The view from the East End of Rundle is awesome, and we had a really gorgeous day to enjoy it.
We had a good look over to Mount Lawrence Grassi and Chinaman's Peak, and out the Spray and Goat Valleys.
(yeah, there's a nice view north too, but you have to ignore the ugly Canmore scar right below you.)
We had a look at the other summit point, as well as Bennett Wong's third peak, but stayed off the heaily corniced ridge to either.

The second and third summits from the first.

Avalanche tracks in the bowl below.

Avalanche debris on cliffbands below.

Neat ridgeline under the summit.

Grassi Lakes and waterfall below.

Full Pano from the summit.

Axel on top.

Ivan surveys the view.

View out the valley to southeast.

After a leisurely lunch on the summit, the cold wind convinced us that it was time to leave.
Getting back down through the cliffband was a little troublesome, as it was increasingly sloppy scree-mud on edges, but we made it.
The snow sections went very quickly on the descent, and we soon found ourselves back on the lower plateau.

Ivan and Axel descend mixed cliffs.

Looking back down the slope.

Rachel, Axel, and Ivan on the ridge.

We descended scree and a couple rockbands, and ended up taking the scenic route through the forest for a short time.
It caused no big trouble, and we returned safely to the parking lot (though not without further mud issues IN the parking lot).

Descending the last of the rock.

A scrambling detour.

Ivan attempts to move the mountain.

Crossing the last bench above treeline.

In addition to the mountain, I claim this rock.

Difficulties aren't over upon reaching the parking lot...

Success!

Neat rock with fossil traces.

Photos taken by Axel and Rachel.

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