20140712: Mount Fairview & Mount Aberdeen attempt (Lake Louise, Banff)

OpenStreetMap Louise

 

Saturday: We decided to ascend Mount Fairview, the prominent mountain to the southeast of Lake Louise, from the Saddleback col. It’s a very popular route but even on a sunny Saturday the trail wasn’t very busy. Just under 12 kilometers. A great day with friends and family. Some of us had a bit of energy to do the 2km round trip to the Fairview Lookout; why not. Late lunch at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, drinks at Deer Lodge, ice cream at the Lake Louise Village, BBQ at the Lake Louise campground (which I skipped in order to get to bed early). How do you beat a day like that.

Lake Louise, fed by the Victoria Glacier. Victoria peak behind
Lake Louise, fed by the Victoria Glacier. Victoria peak behind

 

Trail start
Start of the popular trail
Heading up Fairview's scree slopes from Saddleback col
Heading up Fairview’s scree slopes from Saddleback col

 

Mount Aberdeen as seen from Mount Fairview
Mount Aberdeen as seen from Mount Fairview – checking it out for tomorrow’s climb
Fairview summit view of (from L to R) Haddo, Aberdeen, Lefroy, Victoria
Fairview summit view of (from L to R) Haddo, Aberdeen, Lefroy, Victoria
Looking down into Lake Louise
Looking down into Lake Louise; Wapta Icefield in the far back. You can just make out St. Nicholas Peak, which we climbed a couple weeks ago.
Parks warning to return via same route instead of shortcutting down. Guides have told me that there are frequent rescues of unsuspecting hikers trying a direct route down
Parks warning bolted to a rock on the summit, to return via same route instead of shortcutting down.

 

Canoes on Lake Louise
Canoes on Lake Louise and the Fairmont Chateau hotel from Fairview Lookout. CP Rail built the hotel in the 1800s and hired Swiss guides to guide tourists up Victoria and Lefroy. Abbot Pass Hut was built in 1922 as a refuge for climbers, and the Lake Agnes teahouse, which remains a very popular hike, was built as a rest stop.
Mount Fairview on the left
Mount Fairview on the left, seen from Lakeview Lounge at the Fairmont hotel

 

Deer Lodge
Deer Lodge, one of the oldest lodges in the rockies, just steps away from Lake Louise and half the price of the Fairmont! I love the framed historic photos that decorate the common rooms.

Sunday: I met up with the K7 Climbing group attempting Mount Aberdeen, start time 3am from Lake Louise. We were already in tshirts and sweating under the full moon, only a kilometer into the Saddleback trail. The plan was to attain the Aberdeen drainage from the Saddleback col, then head up the glacier tongue to summit, and back down the other side to Paradise Valley for a 12 hour day. Due to several reasons we made an early decision to turn around. We then thought about heading to Mount Temple but it would have made for a 17 hour day… so we packed it in (plus, some people had done a long difficult scramble, Mount Smuts, the previous day, while others had spent their Saturday doing Eiffel Peak. Energy all around was rather low). Still, 6 hours of hiking – that must count for something.

 

Dawn breaks over Lake Louise Village
Dawn breaks over Lake Louise Village
Full moon behind Haddo
Full moon behind Haddo

 

Unfortunately we were faced with several difficulties of different nature and made a decision to turn around.
Unfortunately we were faced with several difficulties of different nature and made a decision to turn around.
Walking back out the glacier drainage
Walking back out the glacier drainage

 

Sun dappled vegetation
Sun dappled vegetation making it look so inviting and lush. Mosquito haven, though.

 

 

 

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