Sunday, July 28, 2013

Technical Adventures in the mountains

At the Castle Mountain Hut 
This weekend, after the rigors of last weekend's quad, was a more leisurely affair. We hiked up to the Castle Mountain hut, perched high on the Goat Plateau of Castle Mountain near Lake Louise. Hike is actually a bit of a misnomer - the first 4km to the Fire Lookout are most definitely a hike, thereafter, most definitely not! A rope, a helmet and some sure footed climbing/scrambling skills are essential. The hut is perched at around 8,000ft in the most incredible spot imaginable. It's a cozy affair, sleeping six at a push, but the weather was stellar, and it was a great adventure.

The Goat Plateau - a sweet run?

On the way down, I conjured up the notion of a sweet run/scramble - start at the Fire Lookout trailhead, run and climb up to the hut on the plateau, it's totally solo-able if you're a mountain type, run along the base of Bass buttress, Brewers Buttress, Eisenhower Tower, then scramble down from the Dragon's back to the Rockbound Lake trail - exposed in places on the downclimb, but no rope needed. From there, it would be a fast blast down to the Rockbound Lake trailhead, and back along the road to the start. This is definitely on the list now.

The upper part of the gully before the plateau 

Albert on the chilly downclimb this morning

Typical situation in the gully

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