Mount Chester

 Posted by on October 23, 2008  Kananaskis Provincial Park  No Responses »
Oct 232008
Mount Chester

Mount Chester

Mount Chester. This is the peak that Anthony Hopkins points to in “The Edge” when his makeshift compass points south.

Now that we have that cleared away, I’ll continue with the usual dry talk about what happened on our scramble along with the usual technical babble on how to get there.

Chester Lake

Chester Lake

You’ve got to get you’s to Chester Lake parking first. Then march it up to the lake, almost, and make for the obvious col to the west of the peak. This entails crossing a field and then climbing up scree for about 1500 feet. Once at the col the terrain gets more interesting.

Kane mentions in his book that this is one of his favorites. I think it’s OK, OK?

When on top of the mountain please discourage idiotic kids from dislodging rocks down the east face, you never know when someone has decided to trudge up a few thousand feet of loose treadmill scree.

After all the views have been absorbed, march yourself back down the mountain.

Take care.

Mount Chester Panorama

Mount Chester Panorama

Comedy has to be done en clair. You can’t blunt the edge of wit or the point of satire with obscurity. Try to imagine a famous witty saying that is not immediately clear.

James Thurber
1894-1961, American Humorist, Illustrator

Mount Carthew

 Posted by on October 23, 2008  Waterton National Park  1 Response »
Oct 232008
Mount Carthew from Alderson Lake campground

Mount Carthew from Alderson Lake campground

Mount Carthew – Canadian Rockies July 2005

This is my only new scramble for 2005. I was joined by my beautiful friend Cindy.

Waterton Lakes National Park is the stunning setting for this scramble. It can be done in one day but the route Cindy and I took was from the Waterton town site and an overnight stay at Alderson Lake made it manageable

First we hiked to Alderson Lake and setup camp. This is about 8k and 600 meters of vertical so with full backpacks it makes for an average day. The campsite was all ours save for a few resident deer. The next day some folks told us a Back Bear and a Grizzly Bear were seen so they too were probably around.

The weather was warm so the Horse Flies and other annoying insects were abundant but this just adds to the rustic nature of the experience.

The next day we started out for the summit. The way involves visits to several lakes as well as close-up views of waterfalls, a very beautiful outing.

Once on top of the mountain we found shelter from the moderate winds by dropping down a few feet to the north aspect of the summit.

On the way back down I stopped to photograph some of the excellent alpine flowers on display as well as a curious marmot. We also took the wrong way down across some down sloping, narrow, ruble strewn ledges that were exposed in some places. Cindy was hyperventilating on the traverse so I had her stop a few times to calm down.

Upper Carthew Lakes

Upper Carthew Lakes

Mount Carthew panorama showing the wrong route down in red.
The correct route is shown in green.
Marks the summit.

Once back at Upper Carthew Lake, Cindy and I had to cross a small area of snow floating at the end of the lake. This snow patch is compacted snow left over from winter avalanches. I guess both of us should not have been on the thing at the same time because as we casually sauntered across there came a huge CRACK and then a slight sinking sensation as the enormous block of snow we were walking on started to sink and bob in the lake water.

The broke-down-glacier. Cindy and I avoided a swim in the drink or worse

The broke-down-glacier. Cindy and I avoided a swim in the drink or worse

As the crack widened, I jumped up and across onto the solid snow above. Then I looked over to Cindy on her hands and knees crawling up the snow block and I shouted “GO GO GO!”. Cindy managed to make it across the gap even though it was wider where she was. The gap would have been a certain icy death!

That night we spent back at the Waterton town campsite and we relaxed after a long and adventurous day.


We will invent new lullabies, new songs, new acts of love, we will cry over things we used to laugh and our new wisdom will bring tears to eyes of gentle creatures from other planets who were afraid of us till then and in the end a summer with wild winds and new friends will be.

Source Unknown

We are inconsolable at being deceived by our enemies and being betrayed by our friends, yet we are often content in be being treated like that by our own selves.

Francois De La Rochefoucauld
(1613-1680, French classical writer)

Mount Carthew Gallery

Mount Burgess

 Posted by on October 23, 2008  Yoho National Park  No Responses »
Oct 232008
Mount Burgess – Canadian Rockies

Saturday July 24th 2004

Field BC from Mount Burgess

Field BC from Mount Burgess

This was my only new scramble for 2004. My friend Monica Droppo (nee Matt) came with me.

I wish she could come along again but she passed away about 20 months after our scramble. It’s seems very bizarre that someone that is so healthy can just die!

And trust me, she was healthy!

Thus is the nature of death! It can sneak up on you like a brutal thief in the night and steal your life away from you.

I wish you all, like I wish Monica, the best and hope you find (including Dan) and have a happy life.

Don’t forget to get out and grab some fun and live it up a bit, life is short and time is wasting!

July 24th was a warm day and the first part of the trail is from the Sherbrooke Lake parking area and goes through trees for some time. It was hot.

Monica Climbs

Monica Climbs

Once out on the open slopes the final part of the route is visible. From here Monica and I left the trail and could see the slopes but there is about 10 minutes of bush to whack.

The upper part of the route is a narrow gully. Along the either side of the gully rock walls provide hand holds to make the way easier. There is less ruble along the sides also.

Once you top the gully you stand on a ridge. The views start to improve but you still won’t see Emerald Lake until you look over the vertical north face from the summit.

From here you cross the ridge and scramble up the middle of a rocky face to the final slopes.

Once on top you can relax and enjoy the views. Peaks and ice fields are numerous and Mount Stephen dominates the south.

Once you have relaxed and prepared for the return you go back the way you came.

Monica Droppo

Monica Droppo


How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment when we realize we have discovered a friend.

William E. Rothschild

I can’t forgive my friends for dying; I don’t find these vanishing acts of theirs at all amusing.

Logan Pearsall Smith
1865-1946, Anglo-American Essayist, Aphorist


Mount Burgess Panorama

Mount Burgess Panorama

Mount Burgess Gallery (please hit F11; function key 11)