On Saturday, June 3 2006, Raff, Jason, Wietse and I climbed Mount Weed along the Icefields Parkway. Even though Kane doesn't recommend this peak until late July we felt that it would be doable in the current dry conditions. It didn't hurt that Sonny climbed it three weeks earlier either... ;-)
Wietse and I were a little tired after a 23km and 1500+ meter outing to Mount Bourgeau the day before! I thought Wietse did excellent - considering this was only his 6th scramble.
There is some route-finding on the lower mountain but if you stick to Kane's instructions or get lucky and find a 'trail' you'll be fine. The creek was pretty high when we went but it still dried out farther upstream and soon we were tramping up beside the two huge boulders mentioned in the guide.
From the boulders you still have a very long ascent. We headed up as much snow as possible until it got too soft and then we headed back onto the scree. The final gully was choked with softening snow so we followed Jason's lead (and Kane's suggestion) and started scrambling up the rockbands and loose scree on climber's right.
Wietse finally ran out of gas at the 10,000 foot level and waited for us as Raff, Jason and I tagged the summit.
The views were incredible but the wind was very cold and soon we were trying to glissade down the steep slopes. I mean 'attempt' because the snow was so soft we literally couldn't help but sink in it half the time! We still made good time on the descent and soon were back on dry ground and tramping back through the forest.
Once we got back at the car everyone toasted me on my 100th summit with a stiff shot of Jagermeister courtesy of Raff - thanx buddy!
Mount Weed as seen from the Icefields Parkway. Find the steepest looking snow and that's where we went up!
Wietse comes up through the obvious boulders that Kane mentions.
Coming up the lower snow slope above treeline.
A little higher now and we have crampons on. Jason is kickstepping up the softening snow.
A gorgeous view of Peyto Lake from the ascent slope of Mount Weed.
Now it gets really steep and loose. The snow was so soft here we stayed on the scree. This is the final bit before the final (and even steeper) gully.
Raff and Jason follow my lead and start crawling up the steepest gully on the final approach to the summit. We wandered out of the gully to climber's right on good rock as suggested by Kane because the snow was rather steep and soft.
Wietse coming up the gully, just before crossing over to the short cliff bands and easier ascent route to climbers right.
A panorama looking across the Icefields Parkway at Mount Patterson on the way up Mount Weed. (Click to view large)
Jason crosses below the cornice on the summit ridge en route to the summit cairn.
Raff, Jason and Vern on the summit of Mount Weed.
Jason's little attempt at high-altitude humor...
Mount Willingdon from the summit of Mount Weed.
Panorama looking south-west from the summit of Mount Weed. (Click to view large)
Panorama looking north-east from the summit of Mount Weed. (Click to view large)
Jason glissades normally...
...then he decides that's too slow so he goes headfirst! Don't try this at home folks!
Howse Peak and Mount Chephren along with Waterfowl Lake and White Pyramid from the descent slopes of Mount Weed.
Vern wishes the snow was a bit harder so the glissade could be faster. He's also looking for Raff who is still on the summit taking photos! ;-)
Wietse prefers snow descents to scree descents.
Creeping Beardtongue fights into the sunlight as we tramp past.
This is the gully just before we started bushwhacking again on the way down.
Kinnikinnik (bear berry) was used to make pemmican (sp) back in the day.
Jason tries to hitch a ride on the way back to the car. (It's about 200 meters up the road - horizontal distance!)
Everyone toasts Vern on his 100th summit with a stiff shot of jagermeister courtesy of Raff. (Thankfully he forgot to pull it out at the summit or we would have been glissading really wild.)