By this time we were getting tired from all our hiking and Banded Peak looked fairly intimidating as we got closer. Of course we only had about 300+ meters of height gain so it wasn't that bad but your mind starts playing little tricks on you sometimes!
We decided to tackle the slopes head-on and Sonny went straight up to a small cliff band while I tried to look for a good trail through the scree that I knew had to be somewhere to my right. I found a trail of sorts but it was more suited to the way down so I ended up bashing scree like everyone else does on this mountain. Eventually we both summitted and enjoyed a quick look around before gazing off in the distance towards the col we knew we still had to ascend before heading down the valley back to the Little Elbow. The wind was howling pretty good so we set off back down the mountain to find a sheltered spot to grab a bite to eat.
[Banded Peak from the col between Banded and Outlaw.]
[Cliff bands on Banded Peak.]
[View to the east off of the summit of Banded Peak. Forgetmenot Ridge in the distance.]
[Summit of Banded Peak.]
[Calgary from the summit of Banded Peak.]
[Mount Glasgow (R) and Cornwall (L) from the summit.]
[Mount Cornwall (R) and Outlaw Peak (L) from the summit.]
All I can say about the trip to the col is that it really really really sucked. We had to side slope the whole way on nasty scree and it just wasn't that exciting for some reason. Finally we reached the col and began following a sheep trail down the steep slopes towards a line of cliffs that looked impenetrable. Luckily the sheep trail did break through the cliffs but I'm very surprised by the difficulty they can go over. The trip gets a 'difficult' rating mainly because of its length and the route finding down through the cliffs. If you have enough energy you can go more towards Outlaw and down the scree beside the cliffs.
[The col where we have to head for after the summit of Banded is far in the distance at left.]
[Heading for the distant col at left and the way back to our bikes.]
[The side slope hike on the way to the col was brutal. Here I'm looking back at Sonny and Banded Peak.]
[The cliff bands that we negotiated on the way down are far in the background already.]
[The long descent valley stretches out in front of us. This is only a very limited view.]
[Sonny is still dancing on boulders as the sun begins to set.]
After getting through the cliff bands it was a long and interesting walk out along the creek and then down the Talus Lake trail to the Little Elbow trail. After that it was over 3km back to the bikes and an interesting bike out by moonlight.