This oatmeal is very average
That deadpan quote was uttered by Bob Parr at 6am, August 12, 2006 in preparation of attempting Kiwetinok Peak, Mount Pollinger, Mount McArthur and Mount Kerr in Yoho National Park. Apparently plain oatmeal and water is not a gourmet breakfast. As it turns out, Bob provided a lot entertaining, deadpan quotes which made a weekend in Yoho's Stanley Mitchell hut very entertaining.
It all started with Linda Breton planning a group trip to the Stanley Mitchell hut in hopes of having a more successful outing than the group trip last year. In June 2005, Dave, Sonny and I summitted Isolated Peak and then the weather prevented us and the rest of the rmbooks group from getting anything more significant. We thought that we had bagged Mount Kerr but a year later we found out to our dismay that the map and guidebook description had led us to an outlier of Kerr - not the main summit! (It was worse for me because I'd already 'summitted' that false peak once before!!)
As it turned out this year, due to bad weather and a full hut, only Bob, Hanneke (my wife) and I hiked into the hut in gloomy conditions on Friday, August 11.
Bob and I woke up with the dawn of a new day and by 7am we were hiking up to Kiwetinok Pass under a partly cloudy sky. We ascended the lower slopes of Kiwetinok Peak and before the large snow patch we tried short-cutting up through the lower cliffs to climber's left. This was, of course, not smart and soon we were backing out of a very slippery (ice / snow) situation and traversing over to the Pollinger / Kiwetinok col. We worked our way up the steep slopes of Kiwetinok and with a mix of (lots of) luck and (some) good route finding we managed to make the summit.
[Bob heads up to Kiwetinok Pass, early Saturday morning.]
It would be impossible for me to describe the route in detail but in a rare stroke of mountaineering prowess I actually did a pretty good job of route finding this day! Every time I found a way through a crux section I would spot another cairn proving my decision correct. The snow made it hard to pick a line but the general key to the top is to trend climber's left and traverse under cliff bands until obvious weaknesses appear - sometimes on climber's right. This was by far the most difficult ascent of the day. We had to cross several patches of ice and snow that even crampons wouldn't have made easier. The snow was more like a layer of slush residing on a slab of ice. Crampons would have balled up on the slush and then slid off the ice! The ice / snow / cold didn't help any but this peak has far fewer visitors than any of the other three we visited - it still had a half empty register placed by Alan Kane in 1995.
[Bob on the lower ascent slopes of Kiwetinok.]
[Under thick cloud, Bob scrambles up through the rubble and cliff bands on Kiwetinok Peak.]
[Bob tops out on Kiwetinok Peak.]
[Bob on the summit ridge of Kiwetinok Peak.]
We enjoyed a stunning panorama from the summit and Bob commented that the region around us had a very 'wild' feeling to it. I think that's what has brought my into this area 3 times already. Once you get up to Kiwetinok Pass the remoteness of the terrain is apparent. From Kiwetinok Peak the majesty of the surrounding peaks combined with the difficult of the climb, is right in your face and leaves an impression that will not soon fade from my memory.
[Vern and Bob on the summit of Kiwetinok.]
[Click to view a panorama from Kiwetinok Peak. ++]
[The snow made the rubble slick and the descent tricky.]
[Mount Carnarvon looms up behind Mount Kerr from the descent slopes of Kiwetinok Peak.]