Robert L. Peters

18 August 2008

Climbing holidays…


Banff, Alberta

I’ve just spent the past two weeks mountaineering with friends in Canada’s fantastic Rockies. For the first week, I joined an organized outing with colleagues from the Alpine Club of Canada (11 each from the Manitoba and Thunder Bay ACC Sections) based out of the Elizabeth Parker Hut at Lake O’Hara (Yoho National Park, British Columbia) and the Abbot Hut (perched precariously on a col straddling the Alberta/B.C. border and continental divide). Highlights of my week included various alpine hikes (Mt. Yukness, Obabin Prospect, etc.), a solo ascent of Mt. Feuz, and a long and spectacular descent from Abbot Pass to the Chateau on Lake Louise via the Fuhrmann Ledges on Mt. Lefroy (first used as an alternative to the ‘Death Trap’ route by the Swiss Guides some hundred years ago, then re-established by Peter Fuhrmann several decades ago).

For the second week, I hung out in the Lake Louise and Banff area (using Bettie as a ‘base-camp’) with long-time climbing buddies Gregor Brandt, Janice Liwanag and Simon Statkewich. As the weather was hot(!) and sunny we opted for mostly R&R and took in our fair share of dips in chilly alpine lakes… though Simon and I did pull off a sweltering 8-pitch rock climb (5.7, 335 m) on Mother’s Day Buttress, Cascade Mountain. The week ended with a jaunt down to Kananaskis Country and some climbing at Wasootch Slabs. All in all a fantastic fortnight—refreshing for mind, body and spirit.

Images (from top): Lake O’Hara with the ACC’s Elizabeth Parker Hut (grassy clearing in foreground); Cathedral Mtn. in early morning light (taken from the hut); solo on Mt. Feuz; the Abbot Hut at 2925 meters elevation (on the narrow col between Mt. Victoria and Mt. Lefroy); looking down the Death Trap from the col with a forewarning of inclement weather; descending the rubble-strewn Fuhrmann Ledges of Mt. Lefroy high above the glaciated valley (photo by Simon, thanks); “Stella-time” at the Chateau Lake Louise (with Josee Lavoie, Gregor and Simon)—admittedly smelly and grubby after the 7-hour descent, we made a bit of a stir by climbing the stone wall to the lavish outdoor patio rather than traipsing through the 5-star hotel lobby with our packs and axes).

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