On November 24th 2007, Wietse and I dragged ourselves out of bed way too early and headed out to the Powderface Trail and the parking area for Tiara Peak and Belmore Brown. Wietse already did Belmore Brown on November 17, a week earlier. My plan was to head up Belmore Brown Peak first and then do the traverse over to Tiara Peak. I would presumably meet up with Wietse on the traverse. He promised me that he was not going to go quickly and that I would have plenty of time to catch up with him. I wasn't sure about that but agreed to give it a shot. I figured worst case scenario he would be breaking trail for me!
Because it was still dark when we left the trail head, we got ourselves a bit confused at the start. It wasn't rocket science where we had to go and by the light of the moon we were soon crossing a cut block on a well packed trail in the snow. The temperature was chilly but not extremely cold and the wind was blowing but seemed short of unreasonable. As we made our way along the tracks in the snow the sun began to rise and threw our surroundings into a pale shade of pink. It was short lived, but very beautiful and we made sure to catch the moment on camera.
[We started in the light of the moon!]
[The best part of an early start is the amazing views as the sun starts to rise. The whole world turns shades of pink when there's clouds and snow. This is in the creek looking ahead to part of Belmore Brown.]
Within an hour we were looking up at Tiara and getting close to the turn off to Belmore Brown. The route was well marked with a trail in the snow (obviously a very popular late season objective), cairns and even bright orange flagging. As the trail steepened I followed the tracks up onto Belmore Brown's south east ridge while Wietse continued up the gully before trending climber's left for the ridge to Tiara.
[Part of ridge from Belmore to Tiara as the sun continues to rise.]
[The world changes color again! These ominous looking clouds are simply Chinook, but they look threatening.]
I was pleasantly surprised by the nature of the terrain on the the south slopes of Belmore. I was expecting very tedious, loose scree but instead it was firm chunks of rock with grippy slab between. This made for fast and fun hiking and before I knew it I was standing on the east summit.
[About half way up Belmore, looking ahead to the summit. The hiking is great on this slope if you stick right to the ridge.]
I was again surprised when I peered over a deep crack between the west and east summits - I wasn't expecting that! I scrambled over the crack and after a few quick pictures on the slightly higher west summit I was making my way along the ridge to Tiara.
[A little bit of scrambling between the east and west summits of Belmore Brown.]
[Vern on the summit of Belmore Brown.]
[A look at the first part of the traverse over to Tiara from Belmore Brown. Lot's of elevation gain and loss - but not as much as it looks!]
[The rest of the traverse, with Tiara in the far left background.]
[Further along the traverse, looking ahead to Tiara.]
[Mount Bogart with Ribbon Peak in front, taken from the ridge walk to Tiara from Belmore.]
[A view towards Canmore.]
[Panorama looking north west off the ridge to Tiara.]