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Topic "A Couple of Peaks (1 of 27)" started by Vern Dewit on Sep-10-2006

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (1 of 27)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Sunday, September 10, 2006 09:03 AM

As per a fall tradition, my cousin Jon and brother Rod came out again for a week of backpacking and scrambling. Since they were a bit short of time this year, we only had 4 days.

Thanks to a suggestion from Sonny and several hints from Andrew we managed to fill those 4 days quite nicely. ;-)

More details and pictures to follow but here is the gist of the trip:

We wanted to backpack the Northover Ridge trail and bag peaks on the way. On Tuesday, September 5 we hiked in past Hidden Lake and went up Sarrail on the way to Aster. Our views were already being ruined by smoke. :-(

On Wednesday we went up Warrior, Cordonnier and than Northover (normal route). While Warrior and Cordonnier were quite easy (although exposed in two spots), Jon and I found Mount Northover to be quite a challenge. Of course we were both quite tired from doing the other two mountains and the day before and didn't have much to eat so that didn't help! We also found Linda's way up the crux to be much easier than Kane's (I'm convinced they're different). I actually thought I was dead when I had to back down where Kane shows to go up - it was very nasty and we traversed further left to find the crack that Linda went up. We also found the descent route to be quite easy compared to the way up - just slide down on your butt!

On Thursday we hiked Northover Ridge - one of the best backpacks I've ever done. Too bad we couldn't see anything... On the way to Three Isle, we traversed skier's left and dropped the heavy packs while we bagged Mount Worthington and McHarg. Than we went back to our packs and finished the trek to Three Isle.

Friday morning Jon and I climbed Mount Putnik from the Three Isle campground. This was a very interesting route finding exercise and paid off handsomely when we got to the summit cairn. We were only the 8th party in 19 years to summit this peak!! Since it can be seen from the Kananaskis Lakes and all the way up the trail we thought that was pretty cool. The long hike out from Three Isle was nasty and hot.

Vern Dewit
http://www.fresh-oxygen.com

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (2 of 27)
Author: Andrew Nugara
Date: Sunday, September 10, 2006 09:39 AM

7 peaks in 4 days! We should be amazed, but since it�s you, that�s about standard! Well done (and Jon and Rod) � as always, very impressive.

What did you think of McHarg being a separate peak from Worthington?

Looking forward to reports and pictures.

Gotcha beat on that summit register thing however. Mark and I did Ribbon Peak on Saturday - a great route given to me by Bob Parr � and we were the sixth party to sign the register in 49 years. Bob�s was the previous entry back in 2001. Hans Gmoser led the first ascent in 1957. (Thanks, Bob)

Andrew

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (3 of 27)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Sunday, September 10, 2006 01:41 PM

lol - that is impressive Andrew! 6 summit groups in 49 years - wow!

I guess McHarg was about the easiest second peak you can get! I'm surprised it's a second peak but after the whole Buchannon Peak / Ridge thing nothing should surprise me anymore I guess... ;-)

We actually did McHarg first and then Worthington.

Vern Dewit
http://www.fresh-oxygen.com

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (4 of 27)
Author: Sonny Bou
Date: Sunday, September 10, 2006 06:16 PM

Ummm...remind me never to do a backpack trip with you, Vern. I would be wasted after the second day! BTW, what drugs were you guys using this trip? :-)

Great job 'running the table' (and then some) at Aster Lake and Three Isle Lake. Shame about the smoke though. I read this weekend that there were some prescribed burns this past week somewhere in the mountain parks, so the smoke might not be entirely due to that big fire down at Manning Park in BC.

Sonny

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (5 of 27)
Author: Linda Breton
Date: Monday, September 11, 2006 07:23 AM

Vern, that's awesome! Congrats, I knew that marathon was right up your alley! It's too bad you had smoke for your trip though...I thought the views were wonderful there. Regardless of smoke, I'm looking forward to the pictures from your trip, I know you've got some good ones in you anyway.

Concerning the route we took at the crux on Northover, we climbed exactly what is marked in the book (photo), so we can't take credit for an easier version. ;-)




Linda Breton
http://scramblesandrambles.150m.com/scrambles.htm

Email: peaksdarkandbright@yahoo.ca

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (6 of 27)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2006 07:46 AM

Some of the pics still turned out!

Are you sure about Kane's pictured route Linda? I looked at the picture in the book again and the route we traversed to, which sure looked like the route you took is left of the line that Kane shows (I think). Either that or I mistakenly headed up the exact spot he says not to, but I don't think so. I was tired of course! :-)

Vern Dewit
http://www.fresh-oxygen.com

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (7 of 27)
Author: Kevin Barton
Date: Monday, September 11, 2006 08:37 AM


Vern

Holy sh_t, great job man. I agree with Sonny, I am not going backpacking with you.

Very impressive accomplishment, you and your buddies should be proud.

Just out of curiosity, was the last entry in the Putnik register mine (and Martin Siddles) of November 2002?


Andrew/Mark

Great job on Ribbon Peak, looks very exposed, some of those tilted slabs reminded me of Mt. Windtour. Congrats to you two crazy kids.

Cheers.



Topic: A Couple of Peaks (8 of 27)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2006 02:34 PM

lol - thanks (I think!) Kevin! Yes, your name was the last entry, 4 years ago! I have pictures of the register which will be up on my site later.

Vern Dewit
http://www.fresh-oxygen.com

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (9 of 27)
Author: Linda Breton
Date: Monday, September 11, 2006 10:28 AM

Hey Vern,, I had another look at the photo - The route we ascended traces the line almost exactly, except for the final section in which we were just a hair right of the line (the zig zag depression that appears in the rock, not the dark looking crack further right in the photo). We considered that left angling crack (left of the line - is that the one you mean?) before heading up, but found we had no problems climbing the 'zig zag' crack.


Linda Breton
http://scramblesandrambles.150m.com/scrambles.htm

Email: peaksdarkandbright@yahoo.ca

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (10 of 27)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2006 02:36 PM

Cool! I also re-examined the photo and think that we were originally right of the correct line and that explains why I had such a grand (NOT) time backing down...

Vern Dewit
http://www.fresh-oxygen.com

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (11 of 27)
Author: Jason Wilcox
Date: Monday, September 11, 2006 05:00 PM

OK OK, congrats Vern. Even though I said I was going to stop congratulating you publicly I thought 7 summits in 4 days warrants it. So congratulations! When am I going to be able to drag you out to the crags so you can develop some rock and rope skill so we can get you into alpine routes? I'll teach you rock if you teach me how to setup a website....
Jason

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (12 of 27)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2006 07:22 PM

All right - it's a deal. (gulp!) Although a rope sure would've prevented some post traumatic stress on Northover, I'll tell you that! ;-)

Vern Dewit
http://www.fresh-oxygen.com

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (13 of 27)
Author: Mountain Ninja
Date: Monday, September 11, 2006 11:55 PM

Very impressive, Vern! Congratulations!

Raff

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (14 of 27)
Author: Bob Parr
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 07:36 AM

Another Vernian endeavour! Henceforth when you say 'a couple of peaks' I guess we should multiply it by the 'Vern factor' of 3.5 to get the actual number of mountains climbed. And the smoke you complained about ... well, that was probably from the smoking rubber of the soles of your boots not the forest fires to the south :-)

Good for you on Mt Putnik too. Another friend of mine, Ron Quaife, had the first ascent many years ago.

And congratulations to Andrew for getting Ribbon Peak. I presume the 'summit register' is still the 1950s glass jar. No poly tubing back in those days. Your ascent is a fitting memorial to Hans Gmoser who passed away this summer.

On a more modest note, inspired by a Vernian endeavour of earlier this season, I did the Little Hector-Mt Andromache doubleheader on Sunday. Curiously there was a green MEC shirt attached to the summit cairn on Andromache. I've seen Vern sporting a shirt like that ... did you effect a change of wardrobe up there Vern and just leave the dirty laundry behind?

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (15 of 27)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 08:23 AM

lol! No that's not my shirt Bob! We thought about cleaning that up but maybe it's a prayer flag or something!

Congrats on a long day out - how did you like the descent on Andromache or did you do it the other way around?

Vern Dewit
http://www.fresh-oxygen.com

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (16 of 27)
Author: Bob Parr
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 05:57 PM

Vern ... having read your trip report and your characterization of the scree descent off the north ridge as awful (actually I think your word was HELL) I decided to go back the way I came. Despite having to trudge up over the unnamed peak again, the trip out was quick (3 1/2 hrs) and pleasant. All the scree was stable and the valley from Hector Pass down to the upper headwall is really quite nice. In fact I had a short nap in the sun in a soft grass meadow just above that headwall. The time quoted above includes the nap by the way!

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (17 of 27)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 09:01 AM

Good choice Bob! You certainly wouldn't have had such a pleasant nap on the other descent route. ;-)

Vern Dewit
http://www.fresh-oxygen.com

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (18 of 27)
Author: Andrew Nugara
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 09:39 AM

Bob,

The glass register has been replaced by a PVC canister. Even then, the register was very wet. We left it sitting in the sun while we were at the summit to try to dry it out. I wonder who changed it, since we put our names right after yours and there were no recorded ascents between?

Even though Hans Gmoser�s name had been rewritten (obviously due to degradation of the original), it was still interesting to see a date of 1957 in a register. Thanks again for suggesting the peak and your route description.

Andrew

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (19 of 27)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Thursday, September 14, 2006 09:16 PM

For anyone who's really bored there's a very long description of our Northover Ridge hike and 7 peaks here:

http://www.fresh-oxygen.com/vern/hikes/northover/northover.html

Sorry about the trip report length - the trip seemed to take a long time!

Vern Dewit
http://www.fresh-oxygen.com

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (20 of 27)
Author: Bill Kerr
Date: Friday, September 15, 2006 09:52 AM

Vern - Great pics as always.
The Northover ridge report was a very good read and I commend you for the honest and objective review of what was going through your head. Climbing is as much mental as physical and confidence is hard to come by when you are tired and have low blood sugar. Great work on recovering from the route finding error and safely working things out. The lesson for everyone else is how to calm your nerves, take a few deep breaths and think your way out of trouble.
Well done.



bill.kerr@shaw.ca
http://www.billkerr.ca

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (21 of 27)
Author: Linda Breton
Date: Friday, September 15, 2006 11:07 AM

Vern, your photography is only growing better. I like the black and whites you are including in your reports now (the fossil and Northover glacier stand out in my mind). Also cool to see the old register entries of Mt. Putnik (I don't think I'm going to accept your challenge on that one...;-) ).

Like Bill said, great job recovering and finishing with a successful and memorable trip in the end.

Linda Breton
http://scramblesandrambles.150m.com/scrambles.htm

Email: peaksdarkandbright@yahoo.ca

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (22 of 27)
Author: Kevin Barton
Date: Friday, September 15, 2006 01:55 PM

Vern Great report on your big trip. When Siddles and I did Putnik we climbed the West Ridge, not quite from the Putnik/Three Isle Mtn., but close. We encountered several steep and difficult steps, but the rock was solid on the steep sections. We also descended the West Ridge. It was a fantastic, warm November day. Have a great weekend, are you heading out? I plan on drinking wine most of the weekend. Cheers.

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (23 of 27)
Author: Jason Wilcox
Date: Friday, September 15, 2006 03:39 PM

I'm going for beer right now Kevin. Too much snow for scrambling and not enough for skiing.

Jason Wilcox

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (24 of 27)
Author: Bob Parr
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2006 08:14 AM

Vern, your photography is really stunning, both colour and black and white. The black and white one entitled 'Evening Glory' would win a competition.

Your tale of the Northover ascent had me on the edge of my seat. I'm all worn out from reading it! If you do this enough we all end up getting in a tight spot now and then. Glad to have you back in one piece.




Topic: A Couple of Peaks (25 of 27)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2006 09:05 AM

Thanks for kind words everyone! It was a great trip - one I'll remember for quite a while I think.

Vern Dewit
http://www.fresh-oxygen.com

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (26 of 27)
Author: Mountain Ninja
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2006 09:55 AM

Teriffic trip report, Vern! The read was just as "excillirating" as your climb. The smoke didn`t stop you from taking some amazing photographs on your trip. Love the black and white photos!

Glad to have you back in one piece!

Raff

Topic: A Couple of Peaks (27 of 27)
Author: Andrew Nugara
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 07:59 AM

A late response to this, but like everyone else, I thoroughly enjoyed your Northover tale. I've seen what you can downclimb, so if it freaked you out, it must have been severe.

Congrats. on a more than successful trip.

Andrew