When I heard there was a major winter storm coming down through Calgary and the Rockies to the west on Sunday, November 9th I decided that as much as I didn't feel like getting up early on Saturday the 8th - I should probably try to make it a priority before the deep freeze. One last warm fall hike / scramble in 2014!
We had lots of time left after completing the summits of Warre and Vavasour so Kaycie and I decided to descend the south ridge of Vavasour towards Mount Leval. Kaycie had some large blisters and was done peak bagging so we also decided that she would stop on the ridge in a safe, wind-protected area to read her e-book while I continued down and then up to Leval on my own.
After scrambling up Mount Warre on a gorgeous last Saturday of summer 2014, Kaycie and I turned our sights on Mount Vavasour, the higher of the two peaks standing sentry over our beautiful bivy site beside Warre Pond far below.
For my last weekend off at the end of the summer holidays, I was joined by Ben and Steven for a shot at some peaks in the Woolley / Diadem area just north of the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park. Obviously Woolley and Diadem were the main objectives for us, but we also had some other summits in mind - naturally!! :)
Because we're suckers for punishment, we decided it would be a good idea to attempt a third peak in the Harrison area after coming down from Folk on Sunday and after approaching and climbing Harrison on Saturday. The only beta we had on the peak was from Rick Collier. Rick mentions an elk trail that they discovered on their descent and recommends using it ...
Saturday afternoon, once we moved bivy sites from the South Glacier to the east one, Steven came over and expressed some concern at the obvious giant, open 'schrund splitting the whole south face of the upper glacier on Prince Albert. Initially I dismissed his concerns thinking of how easily we avoided similar issues on King George's South Glacier.
After descending the glacier and loose scree of King George's upper mountain, we realized that with a whole afternoon still ahead of us and perfect weather, we should attempt a scramble of Mount Princess Mary. After all, there was no way we were slogging all the way back here again - no matter how beautiful it was! ;)
After a perfect day on Mount Joffre I woke up the team at 03:30 on Sunday morning for an attempt at my 400th peak - Mount Marlborough. We packed up camp under a clear, cool sky and soon found ourselves under the approach gully up the north west side of the mountain.