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 TV Peak. Blair scrambled up TV Peak... 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.
(1) After leaving the summit of Stuart Knob, we agreed not to gain unecessary elevation so we just traversed both hills to the left.
(2) Our route here was just above the wall. Tv Peak (not visible) is on the left.
(3) From the col, a few rock steps led us to the TV Peak's (blindingly bright) ascent ridge. Ian at this point was already waiting for the slow poke at the summit. If it wasn't for the will power, I would have just given up at this point. My body did not agree with what I wanted to do anymore.
(1) Here's Ian, possibly just woke up from a nap while waiting for me. Blair would eventually emerge behind Ian... in flip-flops.
(2) After we've decided not to continue to Castle Mountain, we stayed for a bit at the summit. The sun was warm but the wind was quite chilly. I had to put on all my layers just to stop my shivers.
(1) We're off to leave the mountain. Everyone had to pick their own route. I guess I had no choice here but to take the middle.
(2) We had no clue where to go so our descent was a bit sketchy. We traversed a bunch of ledges until we hit a relatively safer downclimb. At the treeline, we set-up a bunch of landmarks and just followed them to the road.
(2) Ahhh fresh water. For a long day like this, we had to refill our water containers. I hope nobody's peeing up the stream.
(3) Our descent time took 3hrs. When we got back to the road, a fine gentleman gave us a 10mins ride back to Castle Junction. It had been over 12hrs so this ride was really a treat.