Tower of Babel
A short scree slog above Moraine Lake


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Distance - 2km Elevation gain - 450m
2hrs ascent / 1hr descent
plus extra 1km on intense rockpile ascent



The Tower of Babel is a short ascent of a small outlier on Mount Babel.
It's a popular trad climbing objective, and also an easy scree slog via the gully beside.
The trail starts along the Consolation Lakes trail (group restrictions in effect), and turns off at a cairned path.
After pushing through a small stand of trees, there's really no defined route - ascend the talus as best you can.

Starting off around the rockpile.

Good path through the rocks at the bottom.

Marcel and Ryan hike up to the base of the ascent.

Denise and Ryan starting up talus.

Marcel hikes up the thick talus with some of the Ten Peaks behind him.

After the intial ascent up the talus rounout, you ascend the marjority of the elevation up a tight gully.
The middle is a screed mess, but the sides are a little more solid. By sticking to the right, we could climb some ledges instead of slog.
Due to the poor rock quality and number of climbers, this gully is subject to rockfall, making it wise to stay tight along the left.
Since we were midweek, midsummer, and saw no climbers, we went for the right ledges, but all wore helmets for a little extra help.

A look back to Moraine Lake.

The group heads up into the tight gully.

Hiking up the gully.

Todd and Ryan bring up the rear.

The ledges make travel easier in the upper gully.

After scrambling the last ledgy section, we find ourselves on the ridgetop, with a short easy walk up and over to the summit.

Marcel and Ryan finish the end of the gully.

Looking back down from the top of the gully.

The ridge to the summit.

The summit above us.

Marcel hikes the clear trail to the summit. This is originally created as a descent route for rock climbers.

The summit boasts a nice view of the Desolation and Consolation Valleys, though slightly muted due to weather on this day.
The rock is the fractured quartzite common to area summits, with great geology.
This summit also includes some excellent architecture by some party from long ago.
In the rocks, you can sit on the couch, or one of the chairs, and see if there's anything on the rock-tube.
We took our lunch in this alpine living room, and then headed down as the clouds set in.

Consolation Valley and Lakes.

The group relaxes in the summit living room.

Todd's on TV!

In Soviet Russia, TV watch you!

To return, we retraced our steps along the short ridge to the Babel-Tower col.
There is an alternate descent down the other side, exiting near the consolation lakes, which looks to be of loose rock and paths.
We decided to return the same way though, and enjoyed a quick run down the long scree gully.

Starting back under the eye of Temple.

Interesting ground on the summit.

A look down to the Consolation Valley side of the col.

The ridge back to our gully.

Todd and Ryan start back down the gully.

The group switchbacks down.

Making our way down the ledges.

Back to scree lower down the gully.

A final look back up the gully.

While the ascent had been sufficient, we turned it into a two-peak epic, with an ascent of the East Face of The Rockpile.
While the dangers were many, and the journey treacherous, we perservered and summited our second of the day.

There are many dangers beyond this point!

Shortly along the trail, we must conduct our first rescue!

The group is exhaused by this second ascent of the day.

Success!

The group proudly poses atop our second summit of the day.

Photos taken by Rachel

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