On Saturday, May 30 2009, Wietse, JW, Naomi and Keith joined me on a 5 peak day in the Livingstone Range of the Alberta Rockies.Wietse came up with the plan to hike / scramble the 5 peaks after reading trip reports fromBobSpirko. The 5 peaks (in the order we hiked them) are:
After hiking up and down Coffin Mountain in just over 2 hours, we were feeling pretty good about our chances for a 5 peak day. As we waited for the people we spotted in the parking lot to catch up to us I noted that the sun was started to feel very hot. The climb up Mount Livingstone was looking like it would have us sweating, especially with no wind in the trees and the sun directly on our backs!
As the couple and their dog approached I thought they looked vaguely familiar. Then JW asked me if that was JP and sure enough, it was! JP and his wife greeted us and Pablo (their dog) also did his best to be friendly. JP remarked that he was just as surprised as us to see someone else in here! We chatted as we hiked up Mount Livingstone, especially about JP's recent ascent of Mount Columbia.
JW had a brilliant moment when he told me that I should ask JP to drive my car out to Wietse's car at the end of their day, since they were only planning on ascending Livingstone and would surely be done long before we were. I thought this was a fantastic idea and JP had no problem with it either! Wietse was relieved that his car didn't have to drive up that road and we would be saved at least an hour at the end of our day. (As it turned out, we actually owed JP and his wife a lot more than we realized. Remember the lights that I suspected I'd left on earlier in the day?)
[Spring is finally here!]
[Once up around 200 meters you get a good view of the rest of the route to the summit. As you can see, we had beautiful weather on our outing.]
The smart way to scramble Mount Livingstone is to take the treed ridge on the way up and the scree gully on the way down. We took the treed ridge and it worked out fine. Parts of it really reminded me of the scramble route on Limestone Mountain. Unfortunately there were also hitchhikers on both Coffin and Livingstone - thanks to the myriads of sheep in the area. I pulled a total of 5 wood ticks off my pants and even as I type this I think I may have missed 1 or 2... (!!) Somehow we never encountered any more after Mount Livingstone.
[A nice view to the west from the ascent ridge.This is where all the wood ticks were...]
[JW takes a break in the hot sun on the way up Livingstone. Coffin Mountain's routes and summit are clearly visible from here.]
[You can barely spot JW and Keith coming over the 'hump' on Livingstone's ascent ridge. Beautiful views, somewhat marred by logging activities.]
Once again, we enjoyed a fabulous 20-30 minutes on top of Mount Livingstone, tucked just off the summit to the east, out of the stiffening breeze. The climb up had been very warm and the day was turning out to be a fantastic mix of sun, clouds and a cool breeze - perfect weather for a long traverse! It felt good to be done 1300 vertical meters already and the remainder of the traverse looked dry and fun from the summit of Livingstone. Soon we trekked over to the huge cairn on the lower north summit and then bid JP and company good bye as we made for my 200th mountain summit, Saddle Mountain.
[Keith and JW come up to the summit of Mount Livingstone.]
[One final (small) rockband before the summit.]
[The "Elevators" are visible at the center right side of this photo from the summit of Mount Livingstone.]
[The summit of Mount Livingstone was nicely crowded!]
[The group traverses over to the lower but much higher cairned north summit.]
[Vern tries in vain to push over the huge summit cairn on the north summit of Mount Livingstone.]