On Saturday, May 30 2009, Wietse, JW, Naomi and Keith joined me on a 5 peak day in the Livingstone Range of the Alberta Rockies. Wietse came up with the plan to hike / scramble the 5 peaks after reading trip reports from Bob Spirko. The 5 peaks (in the order we hiked them) were:
My 200th summit!! OK - not a very impressive summit but it's a milestone that I'm quite proud of. Not many folks get up 100 summits in their lifetime and I was about to stand on my 200th! In order to get 200 summits you have to burn a LOT of calories, walk a LOT of kms and take a LOT of extra breaths! It's also been a lot of adventures and a lot time spent pondering life and it's many aspects. Without climbing I think I'd be a mental and physical mess, so mountains have impacted my life in a way that's hard to explain. Back to Saddle Mountain... ;-)
The descent from Livingstone to Saddle was probably the 'worst' part of the trip. It's not terrible as far as descents go, but there was slushy snow, hot sun, thick trees etc. It was just a bit nastier than I was expecting, but short. Eventually we came up against a barbed wire fence and followed it out until we were gazing up at Saddle Mountain's double summits.
[We make our way to the descent route from Mount Livingstone to Saddle Mountain.]
[There was more bushwhacking than I was expecting! JW heroed it. :-)]
[The bush gets "less thick" lower down.]
[There's a fence running from Livingstone to Saddle. It made for an interesting picture anyway. I think it also kept the wood ticks away from our side because we didn't pick up any more from Livingstone onward.]
[JW makes his way up to Saddle Mountain.The real summit is on the left, we did both.]
JW, Keith and I figured that we needed some exercise (!!) so we bagged the lower south summit first. Probably the only real scrambling of the day was coming off the south summit, but it was too short. Soon we were laboring up the 3rd summit of the day and then I was standing on top of number 200! There was some great photo ops on an outcropping of rock near the summit and after a quick break (the wind was getting stronger and cooler as the day progressed), we were on our way to Hornecker.
[Looking back at the false summit of Saddle Mountain from the dip in the 'saddle'.]
[Naomi and Wietse approaching the peak of Saddle Mountain.]
[Vern on his 200th summit! Mount Livingstone (C) and Coffin Mountain (L) are visible in the background.]