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Wastach Mountain

Summit Elevation (m): 2819
Trip Date: September 20 2013
Elevation Gain (m): 965
Round Trip Time (hr): 6.5
Total Trip Distance (km): 14.5
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you sprain your thumb
Difficulty Notes: No difficulties – just loose scree and some rockfall in the first gully so bring a brain bucket.
Technical Rating: SC5; YDS (Hiking)
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On Friday, September 20 2013, Jon and Tony joined Rod, Wietse and I for a trip down memory lane. Way back in 2005 we had done the Hawkins Horseshoe in Waterton and this year everything aligned so we could finally do another fall scramble together. I grew up about 100 meters from Jon and Tony (we are cousins) back in Carman, Manitoba and it’s always fun to reminisce about our youth. We arrived at the Moraine Lake parking lot just in time to snag a parking spot (09:00 and it was already filling fast).

Wastach Mountain Route Map

Apparently the next day, Lake Louise officials were closing the parking lot due to crazy traffic and implementing a restricted bus schedule instead. Larch season is becoming a huge post-summer tourist attraction for the park and although I can’t begrudge Banff / Lake Louise for trying to make extra $$$ off tourists, it does seem a little nutso out there right now. I hope people are taking the time to breathe in the fresh air rather than just point their iPad at the larches and declare another item off the “tick list” – MOVE ON. 🙁

A beautiful fall day. Eiffel Lake, Deltaform, Wenkchemna, Hungabee (L to R) visible.

The hike goes just past Eiffel Lake before cutting climber’s right up an obvious gully. This gully is loose and there is rock fall hazard here. At the top you trend left before humping up another slope of loose scree / boulders to the summit. Views of Hungabee, the Valley of Ten Peaks, Eiffel, Temple, Pinnacle, Lefroy and Goodsir Towers are awesome! The larches made things even better.

Panorama of the Valley of Ten Peaks and Eiffel Lake. From R to L, Hungabee, Wenkchemna, Wenkchemna Pass, Neptuak, Deltaform, Tuzo, Allen, Perren, Tonza, Bowlen, Fay, Eiffel and Temple.
Splendid views into Paradise Valley make the work of summiting worth it!

On descent we traversed high on skier’s left under Eiffel Peak for great views of Larch Valley and Mount Temple before following the scramble trail for Eiffel back to the main trail.

Great views of Larch Valley with Eiffel, Pinnacle (L) and Mount Temple (R) looming above.
Rod hikes above the incredible scenery of the Valley of Ten Peaks.

I highly recommend this as a fall hike – just make sure you get your timing right.

Wastach Mountain
Hiking past Eiffel Lake (lower left), just before cutting to our right up a gully.
Hiking past Eiffel Lake (lower left), just before cutting to our right up a gully.
Hiking past Eiffel Lake (lower left), just before cutting to our right up a gully.
Hiking past Eiffel Lake (lower left), just before cutting to our right up a gully.
A beautiful fall day. Eiffel Lake, Deltaform, Wenkchemna, Hungabee (L to R) visible.
A beautiful fall day. Eiffel Lake, Deltaform, Wenkchemna, Hungabee (L to R) visible.
Tony heads up the gully.
Tony heads up the gully.
In the scree gully leading to the upper mountain.
In the scree gully leading to the upper mountain.
In the scree gully leading to the upper mountain.
In the scree gully leading to the upper mountain.
In the scree gully leading to the upper mountain.
In the scree gully leading to the upper mountain.
At Wastach Pass, looking into Paradise Valley.
At Wastach Pass, looking into Paradise Valley.
Wietse works his way up the steep, loose slope to the summit.
Wietse works his way up the steep, loose slope to the summit.
Great views of Temple (L) and Eiffel (R).
Great views of Temple (L) and Eiffel (R).
Panorama of the Valley of Ten Peaks and Eiffel Lake. From R to L, Hungabee, Wenkchemna, Wenkchemna Pass, Neptuak, Deltaform, Tuzo, Allen, Perren, Tonza, Bowlen and Fay.
Panorama of the Valley of Ten Peaks and Eiffel Lake. From R to L, Hungabee, Wenkchemna, Wenkchemna Pass, Neptuak, Deltaform, Tuzo, Allen, Perren, Tonza, Bowlen and Fay.
Eiffel and Temple with the Paradise Valley below.
Eiffel and Temple with the Paradise Valley below.
Splendid views into Paradise Valley make the work of summiting worth it!
Splendid views into Paradise Valley make the work of summiting worth it!
Tony at the summit with Mount Fay behind him and Quadra to the left.
Tony at the summit with Mount Fay behind him and Quadra to the left.
Looking across to the Skoki area peaks brings back good memories.
Looking across to the Skoki area peaks brings back good memories.
Hector in the distance over Pinnacle.
Hector in the distance over Pinnacle.
Goodsir Towers in the distance.
Goodsir Towers in the distance.
More incredible views of Temple and Eiffel.
More incredible views of Temple and Eiffel.
The boys on the summit.
The boys on the summit.
Descending from the summit.
Descending from the summit.
Descending from the summit.
Descending from the summit.
Descending blocky terrain.
Descending blocky terrain.
Loose descent slopes.
Loose descent slopes.
More views of the Valley of Ten Peaks and Eiffel Lake.
More views of the Valley of Ten Peaks and Eiffel Lake.
Loose descent slopes.
Loose descent slopes.
Loose descent slopes.
Loose descent slopes.
Loose descent slopes.
Loose descent slopes.
Playing around.
Playing around.
Looking back at the larches - almost full color.
Looking back at the larches - almost full color.
Traversing under Eiffel Peak on colorful fall slopes.
Traversing under Eiffel Peak on colorful fall slopes.
A carpet of Larch needles.
A carpet of Larch needles.
Great views of Larch Valley with Eiffel, Pinnacle (L) and Mount Temple (R) looming above.
Great views of Larch Valley with Eiffel, Pinnacle (L) and Mount Temple (R) looming above.
Great views of Larch Valley with Pinnacle (L) and Mount Temple (R) looming above.
Great views of Larch Valley with Pinnacle (L) and Mount Temple (R) looming above.
It's hard not to take way too many pics of this area!
It's hard not to take way too many pics of this area!
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
One last panorama before plunging back into the mass of humanity in Larch Valley.
One last panorama before plunging back into the mass of humanity in Larch Valley.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
In the larch forest.
A view of Mount Fay over Moraine Lake.
A view of Mount Fay over Moraine Lake.

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