Banded Peak – Canadian Rockies
Thursday October 2nd 2003
Wow what a big day. And it was awesome for an October day too. I knew, looking at the brilliant fall colors on the way through Bragg Creek that it was going to be a special day.
This trip is a big one. First you have to mountain bike up the Elbow River on a fire road to Outlaw Creek. That’s about 16 kilometers.
Then comes a long valley with much scree.
But the trip is worth it. It’s some of the most spectacular mountain scenery I’ve seen. I like this area of the Canadian Rockies. It’s pristine.
Alan Kane’s guide book says Outlaw Creek is at 15.2 kilometers. I guess my odometer is out of whack. It registered 15.9 k to the drainage I took up the mountain.
As I traipsed up the valley I was wondering what the heck Kane is talking about? A path on the slope above the creek? I don’t think so. 🙁
After several hours I reached a high col and suddenly noticed that nothing looked familiar.
Oops! Wrong drainage. No wonder there was no cairn. Hummm!
As luck would have it Banded Peak is a large conical mountain of scree slopes and one can just re-navigate to where one should have been.
After 4 hours and 39 minutes after starting from the parking area I was at the summit. The ride in took 56 minutes so the scramble took 3:43.
I took over the roost from a pair of crows. Caw Caw Caw.
I replied back with the same.
Next came the down scramble. I decided to take the normal way out that being Outlaw Creek. I knew what to expect having been down the drainage 4 years ago. It doesn’t seem that long ago.
Along the way I thought about going alone and how I do it. I thinks its defiantly the music. If I didn’t have tunes it would be a lot tougher to go alone.
I stopped on the way down at the same spot where Rob Davidson and I had a snack four years ago. Rob shared his cheese with me and I think the oysters were mine but I’m not sure. Henry was behind for about 10 minutes.
I also photographed the spot where we camped for the night.
On the way down this time the trail is noticeable on the east aspect of the valley. I’m sure we would have seen it four years ago had it been as well used as it has grown to be. This valley has seen a lot of traffic in the ensuing years. They do a race to the summit every year!
I fueled myself with dates and raisins at many stops as well a one when I got back to my bike.
Then the race back out to the car. It’s fast; you can really fly coming out of this one.
If you are a scrambler treat yourself to a great day in the mountains. Fit hikers can do this mountain too.
Have a good one!
Near Banded Peak’s Summit
I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism have brought me to my ideas.
1879-1955, German-born American Physicist
Something that irritates you and won’t let you go. That’s the anguish of it. Do this book, or die. You have to go through that. Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but, most of all, endurance.