Three glorious days in Peakbaggingville: An after-work traverse of Mt. Baldy with my buddy Pat in Kananaskis Saturday night; a 30km/1600m ascent of Jasper’s Pyramid Mountain beneath flawless skies on Sunday; and a 1300m scramble up Little Hector on Monday, only to get chased off the summit by a thunderstorm. All in all, I traveled approximately 4500m vertically over the weekend and feel not too worse for the wear, leading up to next Sunday’s Canadian Mountain Running Uphill Championships at Kicking Horse Ski Resort in Golden, BC.
Patrick jogging to the first summit of Mt. Baldy.
Downclimbing the exposed gendarme interrupting the otherwise mellow ridge ascent on Mt. Baldy.
Ridges upon ridges…
…followed by more ridges.
Gaining the summit of Mt. Baldy’s central summit.
Approaching the NE aspect of Pyramid Mountain after a 12km approach on the old Pyramid Access Road.
Finally gaining the ridge which leads to the summit of Pyramid Mountain, with lots of spring snow still left thawing on the NE face.
Looking south from the summit of Pyramid Mountain toward the Ramparts and the Trident Range.
Looking down from the summit of Pyramid Mountain to the town of Jasper, with Pyramid and Patricia lakes in the foreground and lots of sexy Icefield peaks in the distance.
There’s no other feeling like moving quickly on a mountain with relatively little clothing on 🙂
Wow this picture is really grainy… Mighty Mount Robson (highest peak in the Rockies) seen from the top of Pyramid Mountain.
Looking north from the top of Pyramid Mountain toward Jasper Lake, Highway 16 and the route of the Athabasca River.
Looking west into the alpine basin between Pyramid Mountain and Mount Kinross.
View of Pyramid Mountain on the way out. I thought there was supposed to be a weather station up there? Maybe I climbed the wrong mountain…
The front side of Pyramid Mountain seen from Pyramid Lake below.
Sizing up Mount Hector’s northern subpeak, Little Hector. My analysis is that it is much bigger than I am…
Slogging up the rubbly slopes toward the summit of Little Hector. Scary-looking weather in the distance which almost make me retreat but I ultimately decided it was passing around me…
Mount Hector’s glacier-clad summit seen from the top of Little Hector. As I was ascending the last part of the peak, I said to myself, “This isn’t a mountain you’d want to have to descend quickly…” as it was super loose and tedious. As I got to the summit I saw a storm heading up the valley directly towards me and another one a bit further off in the Lake Louise group (on right). I spent five minutes on the top taking pictures then descended as quickly as I could.
Hector Lake and peaks of the Wapta Icefield area seen from the summit of Little Hector. Mount Balfour is the tall peak at centre.
Summit of eleven-thousand-footer Mount Hector with stormclouds enveloping dark blue skies above me…
A sea of summits seen looking north from the top of Little Hector.
Looking down from my descent of Little Hector toward the TransCanada Highway. The immense walls of Mount Andromache are on the right. Bow Peak, Bow Lake, and Crowfoot Mountain are visible on the left.
Looking west from my descent of Little Hector toward the Molar Creek area in deteriorating weather.
One of my favourite parts of mountain hiking/scrambling/running is after the descent of the actual peak is done and one can stop and rest in a little alpine oasis, snacking on a rock in the sun and washing and drinking from a cold stream nearby. Yesterday, however, I had little time to spend in this picturesque chill-spot before the rain came.
I love porcupines! So cute, though I rarely ever see them.
A stock Rockies shot of Lake Louise, seen after an evening low-oxygen sprint (after Hector) up Plain of Six Glaciers to the base of Mount Victoria at the back of the lake.
An aesthetic, almost painting-like, finale to three days of blood, sweat and scree dust. Chateau Lake Louise seen below at sunset, with Mount Hector, the day’s earlier objective, on far left.