20151018: Mount Shark Shows its Teeth (Smith-Dorrien)

Mount Shark shows its teeth if you stay close to the ridge. The scrambling is sometimes difficult and exposed, but routefinding is simplified because of the well-worked trails. Yet avoiding the difficult sections to do a moderate scramble requires psychic routefinding. It’s hard to discern where you’ll encounter difficulties, or the best way to avoid them. – From bobspirkco.ca

I did the Baldy South route after work Thursday and was looking for more. Hm, what to do this weekend?

Mt baldy
South summit of Mt. Baldy, night falling quick.

I’d been thinking of Shark  since the last time I was at this trailhead, so when Colin messaged “I’d rather do Mt. Shark, what do you think?”, it was an easy decision to make. We backed out of a trip to Storm Mountain (Banff), C and M backed out of their trip to the other Storm Mountain (Kananaskis) and the four of us headed to Shark for a gloriously relaxing yet exhilarating day.

Moose were hanging around Engadine as usual, but it was still a treat to spot four of them. We spent some time listening to them call to each other as they had a morning drink.

watridge lake
Early morning on Watridge Lake

It was an unusually warm fall day with very little wind in the morning. We soon reached Watridge Lake and shortly thereafter Karst Springs, and popped out of treeline to start the rock ascent. The Spray Lakes, calm, not yet frozen, reflected the surrounding ranges in otherworldly blue like a portal to another dimension…

There’s a trail that largely follows along just below the toothy ridge but there was interesting scrambling to be had up top along the upslanted rock fins, and we were here to scramble, after all. We moved along the ridge up and down Shark’s false summits at what M described gleefully as a glacially slow pace. 6 hrs of moving and 4 hrs of contemplating in the sun and enjoying the views.

Mount shark
We were likely making it harder than it needed to be! *big grin*
Mount Shark
Shadow of the false summit pointing towards Watridge.
Mount Shark
Big rockfall on the left; staying on the sunny side.
Mount Shark
Summit in view!
Mount Shark
Something about teeth?
Mount Shark
So much for the trail; let’s make it more interesting…
Mount Shark
Coming around a bulge.
Mount Shark
View from the top. Smuts along the ridge and Tent ridge to the left.
Mount Shark
The Spray Lakes, calm today.
Mount Shark
La descente, also interesting!

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