Ben and I finally completed our Sisyphean Odyssey to the summit of Mount King Edward on a beautifully clear and calm late summer day on August 28, 2017. After three attempts, driving a total of 36 hours, hiking 105km and climbing over 6,500m of elevation, it was supremely rewarding to finally take in the stunning summit panorama on this mountain.
I capped an awesome 9 days off in July 2017, with a long-sought adventure up the distant, obscure and somewhat neglected Cataract Peak, just across the Pipestone River Valley in Banff National Park. This mountain has been on my radar for many years now.
After a few intense days of backpacking and scrambling five summits, Kaycie and I were ready for a relaxing day by a gorgeous and remote backcountry lake. Lake of the Horns is situated in a deep bowl between Mount McPhail and Horned Mountain along the Great Divide in the southern Elk Range of the Canadian Rockies.
The route up MacLaren started straight out of our tent on the western edge of the lovely Carnarvon Lake, and soon KC and I were grunting up grass and scree on the lower part of the ridge above the lake. It was hot and it was windy. It felt wonderful to have pretty light packs on after our lengthy approach that morning.
After an easy day on Mount Stelfox, Mike Mitchell and I were pretty excited to find a scramble route up it's higher northern neighbor - Bright Star Peak. As far as we knew there are no recorded scramble ascents of this peak and as it turns out there is good reason for the lack of beta on this peak.
When our plans for climbing Mount Lefroy fell through, Mike and I started looking at other options. After swearing that I was done with David Thompson Country for at least a few months, I found myself planning another trip to the area. Our plans for the Sunday and Monday were to scramble Mount Stelfox, spend Sunday night camping and then attempt to find a scramble route up Bright Star Peak, it's higher neighbor to the north.
Buddha says that most of life's suffering is caused by an endless cycle of human craving for impermanent things and / or states of being, which is dukkha - incapable of satisfying and painful. By pursuing these things, we are caught in an endless cycle of rebirth, dukkha and dying, or samsara. Is Mount King Edward - or more likely all my mountain pursuits - my samsara?
On Saturday, April 22 I finally managed a long time goal of mine - skiing Mount Turner in Banff National Park near the Mount Assiniboine, Bryant Creek and the Spray River area. I knew already for years that Mount Turner could be skied or snowshoed and it was in the plans for nearly every spring over the past 5 years or so.
After a long hiatus from peak bagging and pretty much any activity in the Rockies, other than resort skiing, I was more than ready to join Eric Coulthard on a front range adventure to scout out the Waiparous Creek area of the North Ghost Wilderness on the eastern edge of the Rockies in Don Getty Wildland Provincial Park, between Kananaskis to the south and Ya Ha Tinda to the north.
There are some mountains that really stir my gut when I think about doing them. For some reason Molar Mountain has been one such peak ever since I first saw a trip report and the corresponding stunning photographs from Andrew Nugara back in 2007. Without a doubt this is a top favorite scramble for me and worth every ounce of suffering that reaching it's summit might entail.
A fantastic backpacking trip with river crossings, bushwhacking, snowshoeing, sleeping on snow and incredible views of huge peaks including Mount Columbia and Bryce. I think that deserves a trip report even if it didn't result in a 'real' summit. I am 100% comfortable with claiming the grid reference we summitted near camp, considering how much sweat-effort it was to attain! ;)
I'll admit it. By the end of September 2015 I was getting a wee bit desperate to finally see some fully turned larches. Despite getting out a lot in the middle of the month, especially to Waterton Lakes National Park, I'd yet to run into the full fall golden goodness of larch heaven that I've come to crave at the end of each scrambling / hiking season in the Alberta Rockies.
If I'm totally honest about it, I didn't really feel like climbing Warren after a long day of approaching and climbing Mount Brazeau the day before, not to mention a very restless night spent sleeping in a very noisy and cold mid, thanks to a strong west wind blasting our exposed bivy site on the glacier.