20170803-07: High five to Peak Week!

Colours of the flowers, and the striated rock typical of the area.
Colours of the flowers, and the striated rock typical of the Yoho area.

 

The skies were grey. We were sat there at Jasper Pizza, wondering what to do with the evening.

Earlier in the week Bert had texted:

It is Peak Week on Peakery. High five to that.

I thought:

Okay, whatever that means.

An email from Peakery.com provided clarity (Bert had signed me up for an account). The email informed me that I was invited to the 2nd annual PEAK WEEK 2017. PEAK WEEK in all caps no less. Location: the world’s mountains. To participate, I should

  1. Go climb a peak anywhere in the world!
  2. Share my adventure online!

 

Normally I’m not about this kind of stuff, but hey I was of the mindset to maximize the August long weekend, so I embraced the coincidental PEAK WEEK event fully.

We have to do a summit! It’s Peak Week! What’s there to do in Jasper tonight?

Bert suggested Morro Peak. We’d passed by Morro when we scrambled Hawk Mountain in May. Eh, I thought. Morro fits the bill, but… Not very exciting in terms of execution, and the views wouldn’t be much different than from Hawk.

We sat there at Jasper Pizza and the longer we sat the brighter the skies seemed to grow, with hints of blue. We set our sights on Indian Ridge.

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Indian Ridge

Indian Ridge summit
Trident Range colours, from Indian Ridge summit

Meaning, we decided to put in a minimum amount effort by riding the Skytram, hiking the mile to Whistlers summit and from there heading to the high point of Indian Ridge. Instead of, say, doing the full ridge as a night scramble and finishing at, say, 2am…

I’d never ridden the Skytram before, and was excited to do so. There were many families on holiday. Being among masses of visitors always reminds me how special the National Parks are – that people from all over the world come here, once-in-a-lifetime vacations for some, to discover just the tiniest and the most accessible corners of our immense wilderness.

At the Skytram terminal I spied a toy vending machine. It’s the kind of vending machine where one imagines a weary adult tiredly putting in a dollar coin because some kid’s tugging at the adult’s arm, making cute whining noises and pointing at the toys spied with little eyes through the glass. That’s basically what I did to Bert; tug on his arm, whine, and point. What choice did he have then, but to fish out a dollar from his wallet?

Out of the vending machine popped a green plastic egg thingy. Bert opened the egg thingy for me and what lay within was a tiny toy bulldog. It was named Spike, according to the label pasted to the vending machine.

“Adopting” Spike, my unintended new good luck charm, was the highlight of Peak Week. Other than standing on top of six mountains, and getting to see, in the process, some of the most spectacular scenery of our Canadian Rockies. 360 degree views 5hrs from the main trail, and not another soul around.

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Jasper at dusk, air smoky from wildfires.
Takakkaw Falls
Takakkaw Falls, at our Yoho NP trailhead. You cannot see the massive peaks above it or the glacier that feeds the falls, from this angle.
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Views from near Little Yoho campsite.
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Thick bands of crumbly crystal in the rock made the mountains sparkle in the sun.

 

In summary,

Aug 3 – Folding Mountain, near the town of Hinton

Aug 4 – Whistlers and Indian Ridge from the Jasper Skytram, Jasper N.P.

Aug 5 – Whaleback from Takakkaw Falls, Yoho N.P. Little Yoho campground

Aug 6 – Mount Pollinger & Mount McArthur from Kiwetinok Pass, Yoho N.P.  8hrs, 1010m elevation gain. Little Yoho campground

Aug 7 – Out via Iceline Trail

Starting the climb up the Glacier des Poilus headwall towards Whaleback summit.
Starting the climb up the Glacier des Poilus headwall towards Whaleback summit.
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Whaleback summit. Spike’s first peek at a glacier

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The next morning we headed up Kiwetinok pass. Smoky.
The next morning we headed up Kiwetinok pass. Wildfire smoke in the air.
Giant cornices on McArthur summit
Giant cornices on McArthur summit, looking down crevasses of the Glacier des Poilus.
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Descent from Mt. Pollinger via Kiwetinok Pass, Kiwetinok lake below.
Iceline Trail
Iceline Trail – views of the President Range
Lots of visitors on the Iceline Trail,
Lots of visitors on the Iceline Trail, some looking more exhausted than others. This lake is a popular lunch spot.
yoho
Little Yoho campsite is about 250m from the Alpine Club of Canada’s Stanley Mitchell hut.

 

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