Gap Peak

 Posted by on September 26, 2003  Kananaskis Provincial Park  4 Responses »
Sep 262003
 

Friday September 26th 2003

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My original objective, Banded Peak, is a long day. I was laying in bed, healing/sleeping when it occurred to me that although I had missed my opportunity for Banded Peak, at roughly 10:30 AM there was still enough time to get to a scramble I had completely forgot about, Gap Peak.

With that realization I bolted from the sack, suddenly energized with the realization that I could be on a summit near the Bow Corridor, on a beautiful fall day.

That’s an incredible enticement to me!

Off to the Mountain

After the preparations and drive I found myself under way, going up, at 1:00 PM. On the way at last I was surprised by the familiarity of it all. I thought summer was over but on a day like today, a beautiful fall day, it seems that all of the best is saved for the last. The fall colors and temperature were perfect.

In such pleasant conditions, I reflected on my growing belief that difficult exercise, alone in such demanding yet awesome settings  does not grow strength but power.

The distinction being that power unlike strength garners more personal responsibly. You have to harness it like a flame, or it’ll burn ya!

It had been a long time and I was grateful to be on the mountain again, in excellent settings and conditions. I was going up slope, had great views, could smell the forest and fresh air and was on a great peak.

This little Bow Corridor peak was more demanding than I thought it would be. Unlike it’s neighbors Exshaw Mountain and Doorjamb Mountain, this one demands a few more hours of exertion.

The Upper Mountain

After about an hour you exit the trees onto a pleasant slope of firm scree.

Up the scree is a cliff that must be circumnavigated. There’s a trail on the right (east) side. After that is a steep slope with trees. The slope tends back to the left after rounding the base of the cliff. Lo and behold you find yourself at another obstacle. A short amount of scrambling brings you to another cliff.

This time you have to go on the other side of the cliff. I’m not bluffing! Go to the left side (west) of it. After that more slopes. Argggg! Just keep on plodding.

Once on the narrow summit ridge you can finally see the summit proper. Uh…., oops…, the false summit.

This last part is fun, but be cautious. Although it’s not terribly exposed, the wind can be gusty in this region of the Canadian Rockies. You have to walk with deliberate steps, anticipate each foot placement and generally crouch to maintain a low center of mass and therefore be less bifurcating.

 

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I've replaced the Crow. This sure beats eating Crow.

I’ve replaced the Crow. This sure beats eating Crow.

Small Movie

Small Movie

The ridge is a good scramble but please be cautious as even a small fall can have lethal consequences. At one point my concentration lapsed for just a split second and I stepped on a rock that rolled under foot at an exposed section.

It was a freak rock!

I reacted perfectly but it just goes to show how with a long ridge like this, with gusty wind, care and attention are tantamount to survival unscathed. After a 25 minute break for food, water and panoramas on the summit, the increasingly hostile gusts forced me to abandon my hard fought throne.

The Obsticle

The final obstacle on the way down.
This Gendarme is easy to climb from this side but the difficulty is on the way down the other side.

The forest near the bottom The light is fading

The forest near the bottom, The light is fading.

Small Movie

Small Movie (thumbnail too 😉 )

The down climb was more difficult, as always, but the knowledge that I had succeeded helped.
I was buoyed!

Looking back to the Canadian Rockies at sunset on the way home.

 

gap_pano

Gap Peak Panorama

The poetical impression of any object is that uneasy, exquisite sense of beauty or power that cannot be contained within itself; that is impatient of all limit; that (as flame bends to flame) strives to link itself to some other image of kindred beauty or grandeur; to enshrine itself, as it were, in the highest forms of fancy, and to relieve the aching sense of pleasure by expressing it in the boldest manner.

William Hazlitt
1778-1830, British Essayist

Gap Peak Gallery

 

Cascade Mountain

 Posted by on July 20, 2001  Banff National Park  7 Responses »
Jul 202001
 

Cascade Mountain – Canadian Rockies

Ann on the summit of Cascade Mountain

Hey Ann you’re on the summit of Cascade Mountain!

If you’re wondering why the content of this page keeps changing, my editor killed the page and I had to resurrect an older version from a backup. Same thing with my Mount Cory page. It’s very strange no? Hey Ann you were on that “hike” too; have you been sharpening your hacking skills that the computer faculty/department is no doubt and yes very obviously teaching you? (tutelagening)

The first attempt I made on this peak failed. My partner hiking bud for the day Officer Rob Davidson of the Calgary Police Service had a knee injury that we thought would be OK. About half way up the mountain, the knee was hurting.

I told him I had no problem going back down; “Cascade isn’t going any where” I said. Rob is a determined individual, but when pain talks we get lame walks. It just isn’t worth a chronic injury to push that hard.

July 20/2001

The next attempt was with “Hey Ann”, eight days after we summited Mount Cory. About half way up I experienced some dizziness and a heart palpitation. This was my first adrenalin rush of the season, and not the last.

I sat down, drank some fluids, then continued to the summit. The rush was spawned by a look over a sharp crest. In lousy shape, I was pushing hard and so the adrenalin was more than my straining heart could take. It lost it’s rhythm and blood flow to my brain was compromised for a moment. Some people also talk of tunnel vision, this is a sign of pushing too hard.

As for the Mountain;

…my whole life, every time I passed through Banff, I always looked up at the pyramid of Cascade Mountain with awe. Now on the summit, it was a special moment in a special place (to me). As for this Hey Ann Chick, she unjustly blew it off as “just a hike”. 😐

Cloud over Cascade Mountai

Cloud over Cascade Mountain

Hey Ann

When we got back to my dear Ann’s truck, she mumbled something about Superman. I was very flattered, but on that day it was obviously true. One can always aspire to great heights, can’t one? I must fly! If you need lessons just let me know, no problemo

Cascade is a wonderful mountain, the object of many an artist. I’ve noticed however that none have captured the mountain from the Bow Valley. They all seem to derive their perspective from each other. I’m going to set my tripod just below the falls some morning, looking up at the looming mountain from an inferior oblique perspective, cowering laughing under it’s massive girth. And then I will go conquer it again, as fast as I can.

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.

John Ruskin
8 February 1819 – 20 January 1900, the leading English art critic of the Victorian era

Hey man where did you go?
Thought I, but I guess
I don’t know you
Gave you my heart
You looked to take it apart
Hey man what did you do?
Walked away we weren’t through
Last time was a fake shaken head
Now I think it must be said

Hey man
Can’t be everybody’s friend
Ain’t no way man
To be everybody’s friend

Jane’s Addiction
“Everybody’s Friend”

Tower of Babel

 Posted by on July 8, 2003  Banff National Park  No Responses »
Jul 082003
 

Tower of Babel is the small flat topped tower on the right This picture was taken from Eiffel Peak

Tower of Babel is the small flat topped tower on the right This picture was taken from Eiffel Peak

Tuesday July 8 2003

This Tuesday afternoon I was moody and the weather was trying to chase the clouds away poorly so I went for the Tower of Babel. It’s only 450 meters vertical and took me 56 minutes to get up from the Consolation Lakes trailhead.

The summit was sunny but the clouds were building over the Lake Louise group and then I could here the rumbling of thunder.

11:06 July 8/2003
I’m at the top of the Tower of Babel. I just finished my photo shoot and can hear thunder in the distance. Got to eat quick and get down before I get drenched. The gully would be miserable in rain. Besides, the few mosquitoes that are here bug me.

More thunder, it must be only 20 minutes away, got to fly

I had about 15 minutes on the summit then the thunder got louder. I gauged that I had 20 minutes. I re-started my chronometer and started down. By the time I got back to the trail head it was starting to rain and the chronometer said 1:28.

The trail to the chute is reached only after a short 5 minutes walk along the Consolation Lakes trail and the route going up is easy.

Alan Kane’s book Scrambling in the Canadian Rockies suggests that you follow underneath the wall on the left of the gully. I found that the going was easier on the right and it was more well traveled. It may be more exposed to tumbling rocks from above but only slightly. There are numerous ledges and bluffs that one could take refuge behind. I didn’t feel that exposed to rock fall. The rocks would not fall but tumble at you so if you are aware you would be able to hear and see them coming.

Near the top of the gully you can see a lone Larch tree standing at the top. When you reach that tree it’s only a short hike to the flat and large summit area. A rock bench awaits you.

I had the summit to myself.

I recommend this one. I likes it. Short and sweet.

On the way back out on the Moraine Lake road I stopped to take a picture. Looking back at the Tower of Babel the mountain and it’s larger namesake were enshrouded in cloud and rain. My watch said 12:06, only an hour before I had been on the summit scribbling out my thoughts on a scrap of paper from the summit register.

Mount Babel and Tower of Babel in the rain exactly one hour later. The Tower is visible as a silhouette below the mountain.

Mount Babel and Tower of Babel in the rain exactly one hour later. The Tower is visible as a silhouette below the mountain.

On the way back to Calgary my car failed. I think it was a connecting rod. The RCMP were kind enough to tow it to Cochrane for me at low low cost of only $216.14 and a daily cost of $20.00 storage.

How nice.

It were as wise to cast a violet into a crucible that you might discover the formal principle of its color and odor, as seek to transfuse from one language into another the creations of a poet. The plant must spring again from its seed, or it will bear no flower — and this is the burthen of the curse of Babel.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
1792-1822, British Poet