Monday, August 3, 2015

Scrambles - Mt. Tyrwhitt

We took a quick scramble up Mt. Tyrwhitt on Saturday. Tyrwhitt straddles the continental divide, which is also on the BC-AB border, so I technically went to BC this weekend. The total elevation gain was only 650m, but you still ascend to over 2900m above sea level starting at a beautiful high alpine meadow, then onto a packed rocky trail up to Grizzly Col, before then scrambling up the final 250m of loose rocky rubble slopes to the Window (a 5m high natural rock arch) and then onto the summit. Anita was a trooper for most of it, before calling it quits just shy of the summit... the constant shower/ rock avalanches we would unleash for every step upwards we took was a little unnerving, so I had her park herself at the rock arch before gingerly making my way up the final 60m of elevation.

When scrambling, going up is never the issue, it's the coming down part that is tricky. With the rather loose rubble on this peak, Anita slid out of control a few times, and during these brief moments I felt like she was going to either 1) murder me for forcing her up it, 2) cry uncontrollably, or 3) curse God for inventing mountains. Alas, we made it down with only a few scrapes and bruises, and are still happily married, so all in all, an excellent long weekend.

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The first part of this hike involves hiking through a beautiful meadow full of these white flowering plants. They look nice, but the also stink, and attract flies like nothing else.

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Once past Grizzly Col, the route becomes much more technical, with constant danger of death by rock showers from above (if anyone happens to dislodge loose rubble).

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Anita taking a breather (her tongue is hanging out). Clear view of Grizzly Ridge in the background.

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The view toward Pocaterra Ridge, taken from just up above Grizzly Col.

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I scrambled up a ways to get a look back down at Anita and the only two other hikers that decided to ascend towards the summit ridge.

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This shot gives you a better sense of scale and the steepness of this slope.

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Anita at the top of the rock arch, maybe 60m of elevation shy of the summit. But that final 60m is nothing but horrendously loose rubble slopes.

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Looking south from the summit.

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Summit Cairn! Out of the five people that ascended beyond Grizzly Col this day, I was the only one to actually summit. Just sayin'...

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Full 360 panorama from the summit. Click to see it large.

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The descent route, taking us back through the meadow of stinky but pretty white flowers.

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