Observation Peak

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Observation Peak
  • Location: Banff National Park (Icefields Parkway)
  • Activity: Scrambling
  • Height: 3,174 m (10,414 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,100 m (3,609 ft)
  • Distance: 8.4 km / Round Trip (5.2 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 14.7°
  • Estimated Time: 5-8 hrs
  • Technicality: Intermediate
  • Fitness Level: Moderate
Very next day I came back to Bow Lake area again. This time my objective was Observation Peak. Mistake from a day before, this time I elected to start even earlier start to take advantage of good freeze.

This peak is not for winter and if you are going to do this in spring, make sure you have solid experience with winter scrambling and good understanding of spring snow.

Approach:
Our route is little different from Kane's route. See page 2 for our line. Basically we took left slope from the avalanche gully instead of right slope which is Kane's. No particular reasons except left slope looked safer and easier with the condition we had.

To False Summit:
It's a non-stop steep slope. Quick elevation gain and screaming leg muscles. Second half of the way up required to stay close to cornices time to time.

The Summit Ridge:
Flat big wide ridge. Only the problem we had was at the summit. We found summit cairn but it located quite low point. We couldn't tell a big bump right next to the cairn was the actual summit or it was a huge cornice, and unfortunately crazy Wil wasn't there to check it out for me.

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Red is our route and yellow is Kane's route.

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I want snowshoes with heel stand like Dan's. It was hurting to go up steep slope for so so soistheman long.

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Pretty sky.

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Steep slope continues.

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False summit.

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Switching pole to ice axe.

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It's true I have long legs. Don't be jealous.

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We had excellent freeze.

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Clean zigzagging.

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View from the false summit.

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Moving to the true summit.

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Pretty much once at the false summit, hard work is done.

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More blue sky.

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You can see long slope we slogged.

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Some huge cornices.


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