Unnamed Peaks At GR332455
Wasootch Tower is a prominent rock pinnacle which
stands guard over Wasootch Creek in the Kananaskis Valley. On 30
September 2001, I did a solo trip up the creek to see if it would be possible
to scramble up the backside of the Tower. There is a major drainage
just south of the Tower, and I thought that a reasonable route might be
found here. As I climbed up the drainage however, I could see that
the Tower was guarded on all sides by steep cliffs. Surmounting it
would require technical climbing which is beyond my capabilities.
Undaunted, I continued up the drainage into the upper basin just to see
how far I could get. To my surprise, the angle of the scree and slabs
in the upper basin were quite reasonable, and I eventually made my way
up to a saddle which granted spectacular views of the Kananaskis Village
and the surrounding mountains. From the saddle, I headed north and
scrambled up the twin peaks located roughly at GR332455. These two
unnamed peaks (I estimate their elevations to be about 2300 metres) are
actually the terminus of a long ridge extending northwest from Mount McDougall.
At the lower north peak, I had a bit of
a mishap when I stopped for a brief snack. I was about to enjoy a
nice cold Coke while soaking in the fantastic scenery when a sudden wind
gust blew my hat off. When I instinctively reached up to grab my
hat, the Coke bottle flew out of my hands and started tumbling down the
steep slope behind me. The bouncing bottle brought back horrible
memories of my camera bouncing down Vermilion Peak on a previous scramble
trip. I was also unable to snag my hat, but I quickly found it only
about ten metres below me on the north slope. I curtailed my summit
break and descended the easy slope to retrieve my hat. Much further
down, I found my Coke bottle, and despite a puncture near the neck, it
was still half full with plenty of fizz left. I quickly drank the
rest of the Coke and continued my descent by following a drainage running
north from the twin peaks to the highway. A short jaunt along a gravel
road brought me back to the parking lot. The entire traverse from
start to finish took me 5 hours and 38 minutes. More importantly,
I found a profound satisfaction in being able to complete this trip solo
and without the aid of guidebooks.
This is the view of the backside of
Wasootch Tower from the upper basin.
Mount Kidd is in the middle while
snowy Mount Bogart is further right in this view from the saddle.
The route up the south peak follows
the easy slope at center before finishing with some moderate scrambling
just before the summit.
Sonny sits contentedly on top of the
Sonny nears the top of the north peak
after traversing from the south peak behind him.