Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Short Days

The next two big climbs we tackled were both pretty easy (in the 5.6 range of difficulty), and we were excited to simul climb as much of them as possible to save time.  First up was the North East Buttress of Ha Ling Peak, overlooking the town of Canmore.

Here's Kristal about midway up.

And approaching the summit.

After seeing no one else on the entire climb we were surprised to see a tonne of people at the top, who had hiked the popular summit trail up the backside.  Here's the view of Canmore from the top.

And Kristal hiking back to the car along Whitemans Pond after the descent.

Despite the 1500 ft of climbing it turned into a surprisingly short day.  We were able to simul climb most of it, and made the car to car trip in just over 5 hours.  With plenty of daylight left we headed into town and decided to move camp down to beautiful Kaninaskis country.

The next day we climbed Joy, a fun slab up Mount Indefatigable that follows a huge corner for an astounding 2000 ft.  It's pretty rare that you get such a huge feature that goes on for so long.  Here is Kristal near the start.

And again nearing the top.

We were able to simul climb the entire thing, and after just over 3 hours we pulled onto the summit ridge overlooking Upper Kaninaskis Lake.

The scenery was breathtaking and we were excited to find many pretty wildflowers near the summit.

As well as a fair bit of snow.

A huge scree slope allowed us to make relatively quick work of the descent.  Scree skiing is so much fun, and so much easier on the knees than hiking a regular descent trail!

We were again pleasantly surprised at how short the day ended up, returning to the car only 6 hours after starting out.

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