Sunday, August 13, 2017

Trip Report - Storm Mountain (Highwood Area)

Before we get to the photos of our scramble up Storm Mountain, I wanted to relay a story from our first attempt up the peak. I had to pee, so quickly sprinted off into the bushes to relieve myself. And all I could think was, why does it smell like I'm swimming in a sea of delicious Gin and Tonics? Turns out, the trail was littered with juniper bushes, and the aromatic berries temptingly tantalized my nostrils. Mmmm... Gin.

Anyways, we made two attempts at summiting this weekend, and failed both times. 1) Saturday: we didn't make it as one of our party didn't feel so hot, and we were forced to turn back shortly into the hike. 2) Sunday: we decided to turn back just below the false summit as we could see the rain coming, making the thought of descent down the steep scree and slabs a nightmare. Turns out it was a wise decision as we reached the end of the sketchy part of the descent right as the heavy rain started. #livetofightanotherday

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-13

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-1
Juniper Berries!

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-2
Gin and Tonics for all!

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-3

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-6

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-7
Steeps!

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-8

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-9

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-10

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-11

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-12

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-14

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-15

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-17
Fossils

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-18

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-5

Scrambles - Storm Mountain - Aug 2017-4

Monday, July 17, 2017

Trip Report - Ship's Prow to Miner's Peak

Our original plan for Sunday's hike was to scramble up Ship's Prow Peak, but as with all plans made for the day after a night of drinking... things didn't exactly work out as we expected. Let's rewind.

Saturday evening, I declared that I wasn't going to drink too much at Tytus' birthday shindig, because hiking. Naturally, I drank too many delicious beers that evening, and woke up feeling a bit dehydrated and tired. Anita woke up even later than me, having hardly slept, and I assumed that she would suggest we skip the hike altogether. But when she saw that I was ready to go despite the hangover, she didn't want to appear soft, and so off we went, two hours later than planned. We arrived to unsettled weather, couldn't find a trail, and set off to bushwhack through some light mossy forest, when Anita said something about seeing a black shape moving in the distance. I told her not to spook herself... but shortly after, we encountered the fairly freshly picked clean bones of a deer carcass (see photos). Then we were both spooked, and decided that fighting some top level predator like a bear or cougar was not on our wishlist for the day.

As a backup plan, we headed up Miner's Peak, where we had the entire summit to ourselves as all the others on the route turned to head up Ha Ling Peak instead. Not quite as planned, but an awesome day nonetheless.

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-11

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-2
The ominous bones that made us turn back from Ship's Prow Peak...

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-1
A deer?

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-3

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-4
Separating ourselves from the rest of the crowd heading up Ha Ling.

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-5
Nearing the summit of Miner's Peak, Anita is bagged.

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-6

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-7

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-8

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-9

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-10

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-12

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-13

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-14
One of my favourite shots from the day.

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-15
What an odd feeling, standing at the edge of the light, watching the storm roll in.

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-16
Incoming smoke and ash from the BC wildfires.

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-17

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-18
Some of the beers that lead to our truncated late start...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Trip Report: Midnight Peak

This past weekend was Anita's birthday, and given that we'd hiked 8 mountains in 9 weekends, I fully expected her to ask for a break. But nope, she willingly agreed to scramble yet another peak. And so we trudged up Midnight Peak on another sweltering day of heat and sun.

While we were withering away, sweating uncontrollably on the initial approach in towards Baldy Pass, I finally figured out what to give her for her b-day: we are getting central AC installed in our house. No more of this 'sitting in front of a fan like a peasant' business. :)

Scrambles - Midnight Peak-4

Scrambles - Midnight Peak-1
The Mt. Baldy massif in the background. We had previously scrambled up the south summit back in May.

Scrambles - Midnight Peak-2

Scrambles - Midnight Peak-5

Scrambles - Midnight Peak-3
Steeps!

Scrambles - Midnight Peak-6

Scrambles - Midnight Peak-7

Scrambles - Midnight Peak-8

Scrambles - Midnight Peak-9
Summit Brew: Beyond the Pale Saison Tropical.

Scrambles - Midnight Peak-10
Pano from the top.

Scrambles - Midnight Peak-11

Scrambles - Midnight Peak-12

Scrambles - Midnight Peak-13

Scrambles - Midnight Peak-14

Monday, July 3, 2017

Trip Report - Loder Peak and Door Jamb Mountain

Welcome to Summits and Sock Tans: A story of Sunday. Anita and I took a jaunt up lightly visited Doorjamb Mountain and Loder Peak on a scorching hot day yesterday. We essentially had the entire summit to ourselves, as we only encountered 6 other hikers the entire day. Funny story: while at the summit of Loder, I heard a loud bang, and turned around to see a cloud of smoke wafting off in the distance back at the Doorjamb summit, but couldn't see any people that would have triggered that. About half an hour later, a gentleman appears on the Loder summit (while we were embarrassingly Karaoke-ing to some Cantopop music from the 90's), and we inquired if he'd heard it too. Turns out he was trying to show his wife how to use a bear banger and accidentally shot himself in the hand with it. So while we were mildly embarrassed about our musical tastes, at least I didn't lose a chunk of flesh to an unceccesary accident. However, after getting back to our car, I quickly discovered that I had failed to put sunscreen on my legs, and so now have a rather unsightly sock tan. #sexy

The day's route was fairly straight forward, but due to an array of braided pseudo trails, we went slightly off course approaching the ridge to the summit of Doorjamb and ended up in a precarious spot where there was no safe way to scramble back down (no handholds), and going up was a steep 45 degree rock slab. If there's one thing I've learned from this, it's that while Anita gets defeated easily by endurance tests, she is pretty damn good at technical scrambling.

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-12

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-1

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-2
This is where went off route a bit, scrambling up a steep slab.

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-3
Steeps!

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-6
More steeps!

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-5

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-4

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-7

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-8
At the top of Doorjamb Mountain.

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-10

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-9
This view includes Heart Mountain, Mt. McGillivray, Pigeon Mountain, Mt. Lougheed, Windtower, Rimwall, Gap Peak, and Mt. Fable.

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-11

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-13
The ridge from Doorjamb, heading up to Loder Peak.

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-14
Summit brew: Collective Arts Brewing IPA No.1.

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-15

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-16

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-17
The big climber's wall of Yamnuska off in the distance to the right.

Scrambles - Loder Peak - June 2017-18