Little Temple

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Little Temple
  • Location: Banff National Park (Lake Louise)
  • Activity: Scrambling
  • Height: 2,648 m (8,688 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 930 m (3,051 ft)
  • Distance: 15.3 km / Loop (9.5 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 6.9°
  • Estimated Time: 6.5-9 hrs
  • Technicality: Expert.2a
  • Fitness Level: Moderate
There isn't much info about Little Temple (GR566912, NE of Mount Temple) on the web, so I had few routes in my mind. SW slope via Lake Annette looked the longest but the easiest and the safest route. While observing north ridge or NE aspect, they didn't look good from LL info centre parking, but as we approached the NE slope and took a closer look, it was in good shape and we decided to take N ridge route.

Approach:
We were hoping the road is open but it wasn't so we parked at the winter gate and walked to Paradise Valley trailhead on foot. However they already had plowed snow for 1 line, so we didn't have to deal with snow while we were on road. About 2.2 km from the gate we arrived at the Paradise Valley trailhead.

We followed the trail until the bridge at GR569935 then we went off-trail and started light bushwhacking toward N ridge. Around treeline the slope became quite steep. For a while it was 35 to 45 degree range (page 7) and then it became slightly less steep nearing the false summit.

The Crux:
Until now this route was easy scramble, but there was the devil between the false and true summit. The true summit was protected by rockband on north side (page 11, 12). After some observation, we found a small chimney which looked fairly easy even with snow condition to scramble up. However "easy" I don't mean easy. It's just compared with other possible lines we looked, the chimney line was easier, but still it was difficult scramble. See page 11 for route line.

Descent:
I thought we were going back via Lake Annette, but actually we came up with a better plan. It was go back via Temple Lake. We descended to the lake then followed a creek all the way to the road. Yes we were cheaters.

Winter Condition:
Both of our ascent or descent routes are not safe route in winter. Both expose too much risk of avalanche if there is much snow. I recommend SW route via Lake Annette when avalanche is real concern. See page 17 for SW slope which I took while getting off from the summit.

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Little Temple from LL info centre.

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Easy walk.

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Tasty.

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Lots of sidehill. Dan and I took snowshoes off because of that.

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I have seen this guy in 80's music videos. Have you seen him too? Or maybe he is an old terminator.

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It got pretty steep for a while.

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Great view of Paradise Valley.

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Getting closer to the false summit.

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View from the false summit was actually better than the view from the true summit. Mouseover for peak pointers.

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We were like "oh… wasn't expecting this…" The crux. Mouseover for our route line.

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From this angle the chimney is hidden. If you look close, you can see Wil searching for a route.

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I should have thrown snow balls at them.

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Dan and Wil after the chimney. It doesn't look too steep but still the snow part was little bit steep too.

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Looking back the false summit.

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Consolation Lakes and sounding peaks.

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SW slope looks pretty gentle.

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I heard some crazy peeps skis down that couloir… Aemmer Couloir!! I confirmed with YouTube.

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Temple Lake.

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Back to the road for cheating.


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