On June 19th Wietse and I drove up to Jasper National Park to camp for the weekend and bag a number of local peaks. We were slightly disappointed by the campsite that we were assigned in the Whistlers campground because it seemed very open and public (no trees offered any sort of privacy) but we quickly got over it and settled in for the night. June 20th was the day we planned to summit Roche a Perdrix and if time permitted we would attempt Indian Ridge too. If nothing else, apparently this peak is the highest point in the Fiddle Range. Hmmm.
There was some high cloud but nothing serious as we drove out of Jasper and found the trail head for Roche a Perdrix. Well, actually we turned off at exactly 800 meters from the Jasper park gates and ended up about 100 meter too close to the park on a different trail head than Kane mentions! We realized our mistake quickly enough and found the proper start of the trail no problem.
The trail was obvious enough as it wound it's way up the west side of the north ridge. As we got higher, I noticed an obvious rock cairn built next to some pretty thick trees (some had fallen over quite recently). I headed over to the cairn and peered into the trees but there was nothing there so we continued up the ridge. Pretty soon I was suspicious that we were too high up, above the cliffs that we should have been traversing underneath. I was right. We had to lose about 75 meters of height gain where we found the trail again and traversed under the cliffs. This was a cool little hike. The hike soon changed back to scree bashing as we continued to gain height.
[Wietse starts up the steep hiking trail.]
[The morning sun is bright as we gain the open slopes on the first ridge.]
[Wietse coming up under the cliff band that we were originally much higher on, before descending and picking up the right trail again.]
[The terrain you traverse under is quite impressive. I wished I wore my helmet for this section. Rockfall is a hazard here.]
[The trail skirts right under the cliffs.]
[Wietse catches the early morning views from under the cliffs.]
[After the first cliff band you get a nice scree slog up a ridge crest. It's not that nice.]
The last 200 vertical meters is moderate scrambling with loose rock on slabs. The summit views were great in all directions and we made it back to the car with plenty of time to try to bag another peak! On the way down we realized that the first part of the forested trail is windblown but the trail definitely starts at that cairn!
[Once you get to the top of the first long scree bash you get slabs and trees and scree! Stick to climber's left for less exposure.]
[View of the connecting ridge and mountains to the west from the summit of Roche a Perdrix.]
[Vern and Wietse on the summit of Roche a Perdrix.]
[Roche a Perdrix summit panorama. ++]
[Summit cairn and view to the east.]
[Wietse coming down after the summit cliffs.]
[Moss Campion (can take up to ten years to first flower after seed!)]
[Yes. The cairn is obvious. The trail, however, is NOT. It's straight into the trees on the left about 20 feet in.]
[Early Blue Violet. The only Rockies violet that's actually violet colored.]
[Yellow Lady's Slipper.]
[Where you should park your car and start the scramble (on climber's right).]