Ian Cameron first suggested to do Fable and Gap for this Friday's scramble. I thought, since that he's willing to take 11 hours off his time, I talked him into doing a 4-peak traverse in Banff instead.
This Banff trip was originally planned to scramble up Helena Ridge
, a traverse to Stuart Knob
, a traverse again to TV Peak
, then a traverse back to Castle Mountain
. I chose to do Castle Mountain last because Rockbound Lake trail would be more appropriate to hike back to the car just in case we lose the sunlight.
I prepared myself and encouraged Ian in the beginning of this trip to focus on finishing four summits, but I was the one who gave up. When I noticed Ian has been constantly waiting for me at the summit (20 mins on TV Peak), I realized I didn't have the energy anymore to continue. I've already used-up my last breath summiting TV Peak but Ian still got a smile on his face. I could charge this to Gap Mountain
I did the day before, or to :)_s. Whatever the case might be, it's the reason why we didn't finish-up with Castle Mountain.
On this day we met a couple of scramblers. Chris, on our way to TV Peak and Blair Armstrong, at the summit of Stuart Knob. Blair scrambled up Stuart Knob... on flip-flops, and caught up with us on TV Peak taking a different route... on flip-flops. On our descent, the three of us took the alternate route and Blair led us to some fine bushwacking... not in flip-flops :-(.
Our overall roundtrip took 12:45hrs.
(2) This is looking back to Tower Lake, a part of an 8+km approach to our first objective.
(3) We went around the right side of Rockbound Lake to gain this gully to start the ascent, then followed the skyline to the left.
(1) This is Rockbound Lake and the north face of Castle Mountain.
(2) Here's when Ian boosted-up his energy and left me behind. He went straight to the ridge and followed it to the summit. I tried to zig-zag my way up directly to the summit to catch-up with him but he's already finished his lunch when I got there.
(2) 4:15hrs up to top of Helena Ridge. The top has a complete 360 panorama with warm, full sun and a gentle breeze.
We took a faster(?) and easier(?) way down to the west ridge of Helena for our next target.
(3) Here's Ian traversing the ridge to Stuart Knob
, leaving Helena Ridge.