Sunday, August 11, 2013

Prelude to Patagonia, pt. 3 - Mt. Wilcox

We've suddenly become total mountain geeks as we've scrambled 3 peaks in 3 weeks. We set off at 6am yesterday and drove 3.5 hrs out to the Columbia Icefield to make our way up Mt. Wilcox. For this latest 'training' run, I was thinking of saddling Anita's pack down with a cast iron skillet, but I think she would've hit me with it, which isn't my idea of a fun day. For a good portion of the route, it's a long hike through a beautiful alpine meadow, with only a slight chance of getting rammed in the crotch by bighorned sheep. We did see about 2 dozen of them, but they were in the distance and did not appear to be in a junk ramming mood, thankfully. Anyways... after hiking through the meadow, you hit the steep part where there is some fun scrambling and traversing to gain the ridge of Wilcox, affording stupendous views of the Athabasca Glacier and its surrounding peaks. Between the drive, hike and a quick break, it was a long 14 hr day. My neck and arms 'tanned' so much from the intense sun exposure, I look like I'm wearing a white shirt (okay, slightly yellow) when I take off my shirt. Gross...

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox
Emerging from the trees onto the start of the alpine meadow.

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-2
A view of Mt. Athabasca, Mt. Andromeda, and the Athabasca Glacier.

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-4

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-5

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-6
Traversing across the South East face, just below the ridge.

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-7

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-8
Anita demos some of her mad scrambling skills as we search for a route up to the ridge.

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-9

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-10

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-11
Making my way over for a better view of the Athabasca Glacier.

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-12

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-13

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-14

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-15

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-16

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-17

Scrambles - Mt. Wilcox-18

As we prepare to descend, Anita argues with me over the steepness of the meadow and how it was 'straight up' compared to gaining the ridge of the mountain itself (she struggled mightily in the meadow, yet powered up the scree of the mountain with no issues). So when we get down back into the meadow, and she realizes it was pretty much a nice walk through rolling hills, she says "Now I'm ashamed of myself." How often does YOUR wife willingly admit to being wrong? I'm a lucky dude.

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous shots & a beautiful place to 'train.' Thanks for sharing it with us!