If I'm totally honest about it, I didn't really feel like climbing Warren after a long day of approaching and climbing Mount Brazeau the day before, not to mention a very restless night spent sleeping in a very noisy and cold mid, thanks to a strong west wind blasting our exposed bivy site on the glacier.
Mount Brazeau has been on my radar for many years already. I wasn't in a huge rush to do it however, because I knew it was a relatively easy 11,000er and could be done in almost any conditions and in any season, from full-on winter conditions to mid-summer ones. Or could it? Ben and I set out on July 30th 2015 from the Poboktan Creek trailhead to find out how Mount Brazeau and its neighboring peaks would behave in an extremely dry year in the Canadian Rockies.
After climbing Mount Sir Douglas on the weekend, I wasn't really expecting anything spectacular from the following week. To be honest, as much fun as Sir Douglas was, I was feeling a bit burnt out and thought I needed a week off. Then the weather got nice. Then Ben and I started emailing. Then I found myself planning to leave Thursday evening for a shot at Mount Victoria - North Peak!
On Sunday, April 19th we awoke in -15 degrees feeling pretty darn good with ourselves. The previous day we'd skied into our camp beneath Mount Columbia and even managed to ascend the peak before collapsing into our sleeping bags after a long and hard 17 hour day.
I've been waiting many years to climb Alberta's highest mountain and the 2nd highest peak of the Canadian Rockies. Ever since reading Dave Stephen's day trip report in 2004 and a trip by JW and Raf in 2006 it's been on my radar and in 2009 when a whole bunch of friends climbed it (but not without incident).
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.
Early on Saturday, September 6th 2014 we awoke to a star-filled sky and made preparations for our climb. There was talk of adding Mushroom Peak into the mix if there was enough time but we didn't fully expect that this would happen. I've never heard of anyone combining these three peaks in one day and I know for a fact that nobody has ever done Little Alberta and then Woolley / Diadem AND Mushroom Peak the very next day.
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!! :)
I had the whole week of September 1-7 off, but ended up working a couple of days on Tues / Wed due to bad weather. By Thursday I was ready to resume my break. Steven, Ben and I had plans for Fri-Sun so I had an extra day to do something myself. Originally I had a peak in mind but after thinking about it I decided to hike into the Woolley / Diadem bivy area by myself on Thursday and spend an extra night just chilling and reading or taking photos at one of the best bivy sites in the Rockies.
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 ...