Mount Smuts

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Mount Smuts
  • Location: Kananaskis Country (Highway 742)
  • Activity: Scrambling
  • Height: 2,938 m (9,640 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,390 m (4,561 ft)
  • Distance: 18.4 km / Loop (11.4 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 8.6°
  • Estimated Time: 7.5-10 hrs
  • Technicality: Expert.3c
  • Fitness Level: Hard
Red line is the actual track I took up to where I went which was recorded by my GPS. This episode contains our first attempt and second successful scramble.

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Commonwealth Creek.

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Mount Birdwood… This mountain scares me.

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This demonstrates how windy it was that day. Wind was blowing like 50 to 100 km, we were pushed around by the wind.

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Ninja!!

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We weren't patient that day and took a wrong turn on the first gully where we were supposed to keep ascending until there is a cairn. The wrong route will merge to the correct route eventually but there is a spot where requires a friction play with exposure (death guaranteed). Wil on the death zone.
(Photo By Shaun Luong)

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After about the half way up, we decided to turn around. It was too windy. It was too cold, my fingers were frozen. It was raining, snowing, and hailing despite of weather forcast said sunny with clouds, 20% chane of precipitation, and 10km/h wind… LIAR!! We lost visibility. And worst of all, I forgot my sandwiches in the car.
(Photo By Ali Shariat)

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Mount Birdwood and Mount Sir Douglas.

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So a week later we came back to Mount Smuts. Our second try.

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The first half starts with this long gully. Nothing but gully. It's easier than how it looks in this picture. I say about 45 degrees.

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Synchronized scrambling… A new Olympic game in 2012.
(Photo By Ali Shariat)

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The second half, the real deal. I say there were 3 sections in the second half. Our route was 1st chimney, 2nd chimney, and ridge. This is the 1st chimney, the most difficult part from our route. Mouse over to see the line.

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Great view. Mouse over for names.

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Shaun, Ali, and Mark tackle on the 1st chimney.

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It's long and steep. I felt the 1st chimney was mix of difficult and climber's scramble. However it is chimney and that gave me more options for handholds and footing. Rock was dead solid too.

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1st chimney from top.
(Photo By Mark Evans)

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Boys thought this part where you come out of 1st chimney was the most difficult part.
(Photo By Ali Shariat)

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Me coming up the chimney. I thank my Hulk gloves. They gave me god-like power.
(Photo By Ali Shariat)

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Intermission and 2nd chimney. Mouse over to see our line. Some parties choose to go different routes here. 2nd chimney was mostly mix of moderate to climber's scramble.

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This displays steepness of these two chimneys.

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Right after the end of 2nd chimney, go to left to do the last difficult scramble to get on ridge. This scramble may require friction play. I saw piton there.

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Once on the ridge, you can relax. Ridge is wide and mostly hike except couple of steps where it get very narrow.

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Me on the ridge. My Hulk gloves want more scramble!
(Photo By Shaun Luong)

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Group picture at the summit. We have done it!! Mount Smuts under my belt. I never thought this day come so early.

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360° view.

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Descent route. Don't take the first obvious gully like Mark did. He almost convinced himself it was doable. There is a cairn at the descent gully.
(Photo By Shaun Luong)

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At the crux of descent. I don't think it was any harder than descent on Mount Fox.
(Photo By Ali Shariat)

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Towards the end of this gully, it get easier but you don't want to slip because at the end, this gully becomes a cliff and there is only few meters of gravel between the gully and the cliff. Turn left and take ledges from here.

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Series of ledges will take you down to scree.

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That's right, take ledges!! My god, look where Shaun is (red man).

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Finally you can relax and enjoy the view.

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Birdwood Lakes and a Hollywood star.
(Photo By Shaun Luong)

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Shaun, the only rock climber in our party, enjoys bouldering at Birdwood Lakes.

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Good job boys.

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This picture shows both 1st and 2nd chimney. Mouse over to see the line… Ok ok, I am only kidding.


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