Utopia Mountain | 2010.06.27

Utopia Mountain
  • Location: Jasper National Park
  • Activity: Scrambling
  • Height: 2,564 m (8,412 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,400 m (4,593 ft)
  • Distance: 10.9 km / Loop (6.8 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 14.4°
  • Estimated Time: 5.5-9 hrs
  • Technicality: Expert.1b
  • Fitness Level: Hard

The second day at Jasper. Crazy Vern Dewit wake me up at 5:00 am again. Our third and the last objective of this weekend, Utopia Mountain. Again, I like the name of the mountain and was so up for this one.

We parked at Miette Hot Springs Source Trail parking lot. The paved trail started from the parking lot for a shot distance, then it became regular unpaved trail but still was well maintained. At waypoint "Trail Ends" that is where single track trail started. This trail went along the left side of a creek. Roughly about 2.3 km from the parking we found "a steep animal trail heading left" which Kane describes. We hustled up the hill eventually we went above treeline and could see the first ridge (page 3). Look for a weakness to scramble up and gain access to this ridge. At the end of the ridge now we saw a rubble slope to go up to gain access to another ridge (*゚ρ゚) (page 4). Once we are on the ridge we could see the crux and alternate ascent route, scree route which Bob Spirko describes (page 5). We went for crux. The crux wasn't too difficult. There was nice chimney to scramble up and wasn't too steep (page 6 & 7). However if you slide you will be bouncing down like a pinball. We kept going on this ridge after the crux until the ridge merged to the alternate route where I could see both false and true summit (page 9). Not again!! We had to go up another rubble slope all the way up to the false summit. There is one more difficult part between the false and true summit but that scramble was defiantly easier than the earlier crux although it did appeared to be a heck from the false summit.

On the way down, we followed the alternate ascent route for descent. The trail eventually leads to the first ridge, but we kept going down toward a stream. Scree wasn't soft or fine enough to enjoy scree run but I still recommend this route because there are very nice waterfalls to surprise you at the end of the day (page 17 & 18).

* Grid References (GR) is based on WGS84 which can be considered as NAD83 (The difference is inciginificant)

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