Tower of Babel


Trip Details
Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Trip Date: 
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Summit Elevation (m): 
Summit Elevation (ft): 
Elevation Gain (m): 
Total Distance (km): 
Difficulty Notes: 

The access gully on the Tower of Babel is extremely loose. Plan to be the first up it and take care not to injure others with rockfall while you descend.

Trip Report

After scrambling up Panorama Ridge I decided that to make the day more interesting I should also bag Tower of Babel. Since this scramble starts from the Consolation Lakes trail it makes perfect sense to combine it with a trip up Panorama Ridge. If you copy this idea, I would do Panorama Ridge first, because if you do it the other way around you may be sick of scree before you make it up Panorama!


Two things about the Tower of Babel scramble surprised me. First was how solid the climb up the gully was if you stick to climbers left right under the towering cliffs above you. This is also the safest strategy because it's highly unlikely that rock fall would come straight down the cliff without bouncing off towards the middle or the right side of the gully. The second surprising thing was that on a July long weekend I was the only scrambler on the whole route at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on a gorgeous day.


[The objective as seen from just off the Consolation Lakes trail.]

[You want to move quickly up this gully! Lots of rock fall potential. Personally I feel this is 'moderate' terrain, not 'easy'.]


Personally I feel that the rating on Babel should be closer to 'moderate' than 'easy'. Sure, it's a very short and fast trip but it's also relatively dangerous in the gully. Thank goodness I was the only one in there! If anyone was coming down while I went up it would have been interesting. Near the top of the gully it's pretty steep and could cause some more sensitive hiking folks a bit of stress.


[Once up the gully, I headed back north to the main summit area.]


Make sure you take the gully right under the cliffs, I did see 2 parties off-route on a gully to the right (climber's) of the proper one. I loved the couch and chair at the summit and kind of wished I had a couple of hours to kill up there! The view is excellent. I climbed up in 41 minutes and back down in 22. I managed to catch Sonny and Kelly on the Consolation Lakes trail just as they were coming out from Panorama Ridge.


[Gorgeous view over Larch Valley towards Hungabee and Eiffel with Sentinel Pass to the right.]

[Chillin' on the big comfy couch!]

[Another angle on the summit couch with Mount Temple in the bg.]

[I was just up there! Panorama Ridge lies to the east.]

[Moraine Lake and the Valley of Ten Peaks. From R to L, Neptuak, Deltaform, Tuzo, Allen, Perren, Bowlen and Little.]

[There is a route up Tower of Babel from the Consolation Lakes area via slopes to the left here. Mount Babel looms high over the tower on the right, Bident in the distance.]

[My favorite view from the Tower of Babel looking over Consolation Lakes with Babel, Quadra and Bident on the right and Bell and Panorama Ridge on the left.]

[The obvious route up the avy path on Panorama Ridge.]

[Another view over Moraine Lake which has a Peyto Lake look to it here!]

[Peering straight down at the Moraine Lake Lodge.]

[Telephoto of Eiffel Peak.]

[Deltaform is a big, scary 11,000er.]

[Allen is another large peak in the group of 10 - Perren to its left.]

[Mount Little doesn't look so little from this angle!]

[Mount Bident has always impressed me with it's hanging glacier and distinctive lines.]

[Mount St. Bride in Skoki has only been summitted a few times.]

[Looking back at the pleasant summit as I descend back to the scary descent gully.]

[One last look over Consolation Lakes before dropping into the gully (behind me here). There is a route up the slope in the foreground too, but I haven't heard of anyone doing it...]

[Back down this loose, colorful thing!]

[Easy scree fan at the base of the gully.]

[One last look up at the tower.]


A recommended scramble, especially if you combine it with another such as Panorama Ridge for a two peak day.


What do you think it would be like if you climbed the Tower of Babel in the rain? Would you recommend continuing?

Yeah - I think it could be done with rain, as long as it's not pouring. Pouring rain in the Rockies can loosen the already loose rocks and boulders and wash them down the mountain. Tower of Babel is very loose already so make sure you wear a brain bucket on it!

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