Oyster Peak


 

Trip Details
Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Yes
Trip Date: 
Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Summit Elevation (m): 
2,777
Summit Elevation (ft): 
9,110
Total Distance (km): 
25.00
Difficulty Notes: 

Depending on your descent. We descended west slopes from the summit and got into difficult scrambling. The normal route is fairly easy.

Map
Trip Report
A very frosty morning of September 7 2005 found Rod, Jon and I hiking out of our Baker Lake back country campsite to tackle a long day of scrambling more peaks in the Skoki region of Banff National Park. The previous 1.5 days had already seen us make ascents of Richardson, Ptarmigan, Pika, Anthozoan and Brachiopod. Our feet were starting to complain... ;) 
 
Our objectives for the 2nd full day of scrambling were a traverse of Oyster Peak followed by a hike through Jones Pass to Skoki Lodge. From there we would ascend Skoki Mountain and than head back up to Deception Pass from which we would bag the summit of Fossil Mountain. From there we would descend back to our Baker Lake camp and presumably fall asleep very early and ignore our complaining feet!
 
We decided early on that we would do the traverse of Oyster because of our good experiences with traversing both Anthozoan and Brachiopod the day before. Kane also shows the scramble as a traverse.
 
We crossed the beautiful meadows of the Cotton Grass Pass and jumped Oyster Creek before heading into some light bushwhacking and Oysters extreme southern end. There was a little creek jumping down the rocks from a high alpine meadow that made us wish we spent more time in this lovely, remote area.
Soon enough we were grunting up the ridge on Oyster. There actually wasn't that much scree on the ascent because we really stuck to the ridge the way Kane shows in his book. The climbing was quick and fun on large rock and slabs. We topped out on the south peak to a beautiful morning view of the surrounding area. There was a register in the cairn that mentioned the true peak to the north and gave lazy people an excuse to sign a register without doing the traverse! ;-)
 

[Looking at Oyster Peak from below it's southern end. We simply headed up to the south summit and traversed north from there!]
 

[Looking back at Baker Lake and Anthozoan, Brachiodpod, Heather Ridge and Redoubt (L to R) from the southern ascent slopes of Oyster Peak.]
 

[Same view as the previous pic, but higher now.]
 

[Rod and Vern coming up the south end of Oyster]
 

[Rod on the rubbly south end of the ridge]
 
The traverse of Oyster was one of the highlights of our Skoki trip. The morning was cool and crisp and the traverse was just good fun without being too hard or too easy. Just before the main summit the scrambling got a bit more serious but again, nothing more than the upper end of 'moderate'. We spent some time at the summit looking down at the next part of our journey through Jones Pass and eating breakfast. (Advil and Powerade anyone?)
 

[Now on the main summit of Oyster looking at Molar in the far distance (L) and the Drummond Icefield on the right.]
 

[Hector in the far distance with our next object (Skoki) in the foreground and Fossil rising on the left.]
 

[Mount Drummond on the right with Pipestone and Cyclone on the left. Peaks on the Drummond Icefield in the distance are mostly unnamed.]
 

[Rod traverses to the true summit of Oyster Peak.]
 
 
[A great summit pano showing (L to R) Brachiopod, Fossil, Skoki, Hector, Red Deer Lake, Cyclone, Pipestone and the Drummond Icefield.++]
 
Following one of the most enjoyable times in Skoki came some of the least enjoyable. The descent down the west slopes of Oyster at the north end was not what I was expecting at all. It was upper 'moderate' to low 'difficult' with lots of slab and scree down climbing. Rod was pushing the limits of his scrambling ability which didn't help his comfort levels any! (He did fabulous though.) Eventually we managed to work our way down through the cliff bands and steep, nasty scree but don't under estimate this descent - it's certainly not as easy as I was expecting! (Of course Kane doesn't actually show this descent line in his picture either... ;-))
 

[The terrain under the summit starts off fairly easy]
 

[The tricky and very loose descent of the west face of Oyster Peak]
 

[Careful foot steps!]
 
Next we were on to Jones Pass and Skoki Mountain.

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