I decided to end a 4 day peak bagging party (Monday - Pilot / Brett, Tuesday - Burstall / Storm, Wednesday - Fox) with a jaunt up Mount Bogart. (NOTE: Since the floods of 2013, the approach route and even the route itself may have changed significantly so beware that the GPS track will be off.)
I don't really know what I was thinking since Bogart is one HECK of a SLOG but I guess I figured since it was only rated moderate and since it was kind of on the way home (I was camping in Elkwood) and one of the only Kananaskis peaks from Kane that I had left, I really didn't have much of a choice. The weather forecast wasn't great so I knew I'd have to move quickly and get an early start to have any chance of finishing. I wasn't too keen about doing this one solo since I know cougars and bears like the Ribbon Creek valley and I also knew that I'd be totally alone for many hours in remote terrain, but what can you do when all your buddies are working and you're not? :-)
I left the parking lot on my bike at 0630 just as the sky was getting lighter. I was slightly disappointed to see the sign indicating only 4km of the Ribbon Creek trail was for biking but I think the sign is misleading and it's closer to 5km. That still left me 5-6km of hiking just to get to the base of the scrambling! It was going to be a slog - just like I suspected...
...and it was a slog! I actually enjoyed the nice cool morning walk and arrived at Ribbon Falls about 10 minutes ahead of when I thought I would. The ascent up the water gully to the upper basin on Bogart looks intimidating from below and it's a bit tricky. You should take care not to get suckered onto difficult terrain here - there is a moderate route through this stuff but it's a wandering one and isn't always obvious.
[The approach gully finally comes into view after many kilometers of moving already.]
[Lovely Ribbon Falls is a nice diversion. From here it's a helluva grunt to climber's right.]
[The approach gully is fairly steep and exposed but is still moderate if you don't stray off route. I went left then right then left then right... ;-)]
[Looking back at the hiking route to Ribbon Lake and the upper part of Ribbon Falls going down the headwall.]
[I trended to the right through this next section of the approach gully.]
[The morning was gorgeous - I was just a bit too tired from thousands of feet of scrambling and tens of kilometers of hiking to fully appreciate it.]
[Topping out at the gorgeous upper hanging valley with Bogart rising in the distance at left.]
I was getting tired by the time I topped out on the lovely alpine bowl above the water gully leading to the final 800 vertical meters of Bogart. The clouds were also building but it was early and I figured I still had at least 2 hours before the weather turned on me so I plodded towards the final scree grunt.
[Another glance back.]
[The perfect spot to whittle away a warm afternoon... But there's a PEAK to be bagged!! ;)]
[Glancing at the impressive line of cliffs to the SW of Bogart and a small tarn - Bogart Lake?]
[Very respectable views off the south face of Bogart over my approach route towards the Sundance Range and Spray Lakes peaks.]
Kane is right when he says this slope is somewhat fore-shortened but I had my altimeter watch on so I thought I knew what I was in for. I was kind of right and kind of wrong. Once I finally got up to the final cliff band the 7300 meters of height gain over the past 4 days caught up with me and I started feeling seriously bagged and somewhat unmotivated. I also lost my route finding ability and for some reason ended up way too far on climber's right scratching my head and clambering up some really difficult and exposed terrain. Eventually I realized I was being stupid and backed off before finding the obvious route up a narrow crack through to the upper mountain and finally the summit itself. The views were great with interesting clouds and familiar mountains in every direction.
[This is a seriously fore-shortened scree slope! I have a long slog to go yet.]
[Higher views, near the summit now looking back over familiar peaks including, Fortress, Galatea, Tower, Engadine and others.]
[Finally on the summit! Spray Lakes clearly visible along with familiar peaks including,Galatea, Birdwood, Engadine, Shark, Morrison, Turner, Red Peak, Eon, Cone, Fortune, Aye, Assiniboine, Nestor, Old Goat, Big Sister, Sparrowhawk, Lougheed, Wind, Allan (L to R). ++]
[Another summit panorama looking north and east including, Big Sister, Sparrowhawk, Lougheed, Wind, Allan, McGillivray, Lorette, Baldy, Wasootch, McDougall, Fisher, Kidd and Kidd South in the fg. ++]
[Looking towards Mount Sir Douglas over Commonwealth Ridge.]
[Great views of Aye, Eon and Assiniboine.]
[Vern on the summit of Bogart - his 6th Kane peak in 4 days... ;)]
On the way down I actually started nodding off while in motion a few times, apparently I was getting tired! I managed to down climb through the gully to the Ribbon Creek trail and the rain started literally 1 minute after I got off the last slab! Talk about good timing! ;-) The way back to the bike was kind of boring and my poor feet were falling off but once I got to the bike things got fun again. Bogart has great views and is a fun outing but make sure you have good weather, lots of time and good route finding skills. Also make sure you bring a bike!
[Definitely moderate scrambling down from the summit.]
[More loose, steep down climbing from the summit.]
[Looking over my escape from the upper hanging valley.]
[Scree - and more scree! Looking back at the summit.]
[Exiting the gully, looking back up.]