I’ve only been doing short stuff in the mountains lately. Just concentrating on other things, despite the above-average high temps this winter and clear sunny days. A while back I did Ha-Ling with G from the scrambling club (as a Plan B when our Kootenays trip got cancelled due to snowfall warnings), and he was looking to do Yam at sunrise so I joined in.
Short and sweet hike, perfect for the first day of Spring. It was just three of us, probably because others wanted a full day in the mountains (not just a half day route like Yam) or didn’t want such an early start.
We headed out from the parking lot at 4:40AM and quickly figured we’d beat sunrise to the summit at our regular pace, so we made it a very easy day with lots of pauses for star gazing, which was fine with me. G had looked up the schedule for the International Space Station’s flyover so we did the countdown. It was right on time. G says it travels at 17,000 miles per hr. Astounding.
Normally we do the East shoulder to the summit but for interest sake we decided to head in from the West and traverse below the cliff then scree slog it to summit. I’ve done Yam in winter darkness before; C found it interesting I guess by his half-joking comments.. “This area is kind of.. Err..”, “Where are we? Where are we…”, “Let’s get off this side slopey stuff..”, “Ha ha let’s not rock climb in the dark…” and then his words would trail off as he concentrated on footing. In daylight of course it looks pretty simple.
Well, we made it to summit for sunrise and lingered until the wind made itself felt. As we headed down the infamous “scree run” we saw 4 teams of climbers headed up and yet another team in the parking lot. Fantastic morning.
We had great conditions today; here is what Yam looks like with snow (April 2015)!
And here is a shot of sunrise from Yamnuska’s East shoulder (Jan 2015)