Robert L. Peters

28 April 2008

My favorite mountain…



Bow Valley, Alberta

I’ve had the profound pleasure of climbing many mountains, but I’d have to say that my favorite (OK, one of my favorites to be sure) has to be Castle Mountain, a craggy massif of 540-million-year-old Middle-Cambrian limestone located half-way between Banff and Lake Louise at the eponymous Castle Junction. It’s the mountain that is most often in my thoughts as I drift into sleep late at night…

So, when I chanced across this 75-year-old photo today… I felt the urge to annotate: 1) The location of the “weakness” in the lower rockwall that leads to the ascent gully (low 5.?, but can be freed); 2) The climber’s bivouac hut (3 meters square in size, sleeps 6 in a pinch, cabled to a ledge on the Goat Plateau—set about 3 meters back from a 1000′ drop-off to the scree below); 3) The classic line of the 13-pitch Brewer Buttress leading to the mountain’s true summit (5.6—I first climbed it with Raphael Muñoz and [the late] Clive Ramage about 10 years ago); 4) The descent gully (multiple double-rope rappels down a water-course—look for fixed stations) leading back down to the plateau; 5) The Eisenhower Tower (I’ve been weathered off it three times over the past decade, with my high-point being the intersection of the Dragon’s Back and the headwall)—could this be the summer I finally make it to the top?

Lower photo: Yours truly short-roping German friend Silvie Engel in 2006, descending the top of the access gully (at #2).

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