October 30, 2005 found the RMB Kane Troopers attempting to bag yet another peak before winter could prevent such outings for another season.
A bunch of us (9) decided to meet at the trail head, around 0830 on Saturday morning. I was the first to arrive after miscalculating the amount of time it would take me to grab a cup of joe at Tim Horton's. When you're in a hurry there's a two-block line up and when you're not, there isn't another coffee drinker within miles - but that's a whole different story! Eventually Dave S drove his tank into the parking lot, followed by Dave M in his Matrix. Bill and Gary were the last to arrive, in a cool party van that probably could have held all of the RMB members along with their gear!
We were disappointed that the entrance to the Little Elbow CG was blocked off so we did a short scouting trip to find a way around the barricade. Everyone else missed it, but I spotted an obvious trail through the ditch which would save us some biking - we all took it and were soon at the trail head for the Little Elbow bike trail.
The bike ride to the Mount Remus access gully was uneventful. We even went slow enough to allow the last member of our group to catch up - Jason came storming up the trail after leaving Calgary almost an hour later than the rest of us and actually managed to get to the 6.5 km mark first! That would set precedent for the day. We were hoping that the Little Elbow would truly be 'little' but a quick glance told us otherwise. After a VERY chilly ford we were back in dry socks / boats and tramping up the lower slopes of Remus.
[Dave takes a morning dip in the Little Elbow.]
Mount Remus was actually not a spectacular mountain as far as scrambles goes. There was great scenery, like any other mountain, but there was very little scrambling till the difficult chimney at the top. Everyone except for Dave S and Jason chose to go up the scree descent slope, just because of the wind and snow. Apparently the normal route was also mostly scree and presented no challenges to Dave S and Jason.
Eventually we all met at the top of the normal ascent route and started up the last part of the mountain. Jason kicked steps all the way up the final slopes to the summit block - thanks for having so much energy Jason!
[Bill and Gary heading up the snowy lower slopes of Mount Remus.]
[Bill and Gary, about half way up, stop for a quick breather.]
[The upper part of Mount Remus can be seen from on top of the lower scree slope. You basically traverse from right to left and then up the summit block on the top left of the photo.]
After scouting out the chimney for about 5 seconds, Jason headed straight up it! Dave S and Frank started putting on their crampons after Jason reported some pretty hard snow at the base of the chimney. Since I was already part way up the slope I continued on without them and after a few tricky moves on the slick rocks in the chimney, Jason and I were on top waiting for the others to come up. While we stuck to the rock as much as possible, the members of our party smart enough to carry crampons went right up the snow in the chimney and were soon joining us. A short traverse led quickly to the summit and soon we were standing at the top of Mount Remus. 'Standing' should not be taken literally as the hurricane force winds were doing their best to toss us all down the north side of the mountain!
[Frank negotiates the snowy access to the chimney as Dave S. comes up in front of him.]
[Frank, on the summit of Mount Remus.]
[Vern on the summit of Mount Remus.]
[Jason and Raf trying to talk in the hurricane winds at the summit of Mount Remus. They look happy to have summitted!]
[Mount Romulus and some ominous looking weather behind it from the summit of Mount Remus.]
[Bill and Gary make their way to the summit of Mount Remus in very strong winds.]
[Mount Romulus is in the background as Dave S, Jason and Raf are looking cold!]
After a short stint at the summit we were back at the chimney. Jason showed me the way as we carefully picked our way down the steep terrain. Soon we were at the bottom, waiting for the others. Dave S showed Dave M the best way to get down while Frank and Raf followed them down. Bill and Gary did a quick rap from a fixed station at the top of the chimney. Linda arrived at the base of the chimney and Jason accompanied her back up to the summit. Soon they were back and we all tramped down the scree slopes to our bikes without incident.
[Jason stands on a lookout point just below the chimney. Nihahi Ridge and the SE ridge of Mount Fullerton are in the background.]
[Dave S starts down the chimney while Raf looks down the cliff on the top right of the photo.]
[The 'Hillary Step' is all backed up! Dave S, Dave M and Frank are all heading down the difficult chimney on Mount Remus.]
[The summit block of Mount Remus looks intimidating against the blue sky. Raf does not look intimidating as he glissades down from it!]
The only 'incident' of the day occurred when we all got $57 tickets for off-roading in a provincial park! Apparently the wardens waited around all day for what they thought were sheep hunters without permits - only to see 9 tired scramblers instead! Ooops. That'll be the last time anyone follows me 'off-roading' in my Toyota Corolla I guess! ;-)
[The group prepares for the 6.5 km bike ride back to civilization and a $57 ticket...]