Following last year's successful group scramble up Narao Peak,
another small group of us from the Rocky Mountain
Books WebForum decided to get together to scramble up Mount Niles in
Yoho National Park on 14 August 2004. Dinah Kruze, Frank Nelson,
Bob Spirko and I drove out in Frank's
minivan to the trailhead at Wapta Lake picnic area, and we were on the
trail by 8:15 AM. The hike to Niles Meadows is easy but long.
It took us over two hours to reach the meadows where we took a short
break before continuing up an obvious drainage at the north end.
Past the drainage, we met a nice couple, Brigitte Greve and Martin
Siddles, who had
camped in the meadows the night before and were also on their way up
Mount Niles. We accompanied them through a large boulder field to
the col west of Mount Niles. While Brigitte and Martin took a break
there, the rest of us continued up the west slope and reached the summit
of Mount Niles about an hour after leaving the col. The weather was
so nice on this day that we stayed on the summit for almost an hour
before beginning our long descent (by which time, Brigitte and Martin had
already joined us at the summit). Although the return trip was
uneventful, the lengthy march took its toll on our feet, and the stifling
afternoon heat gave all of us, except for Bob, a slight headache--but
nothing a stop at the Dairy Queen in Canmore, Alberta couldn't cure!
Our round-trip time was just a little over 9 hours. While bagging
Mount Niles in splendid weather probably counts for something, the real
success of this trip was the great chemistry of the participants. I
had a lot of fun and look forward to the next group scramble.
Bob's photos of this trip.
||Mount Niles is reflected in Sherbrooke
||Frank and Dinah enter Niles Meadows.
Aiming for the col to the left of Mount Niles, they would eventually
head straight up the gully at the far end of the meadow.
||This is an unnamed peak west of Niles
||It's a race to the col!
||This is a prominent rock pinnacle near
||Bob and Frank work their way up the
||Bob stands on the summit of Mount
Niles (2972 metres) while Frank (right) is very close. The
Waputik Icefield can be seen at left.
||Dinah takes the last few steps to the
summit. Sherbrooke Lake and many of the peaks in the Lake
Louise area are visible in the distance.
||Frank checks out the Daly Glacier and
Waputik Icefield. Mount Balfour is visible at left.
||Gathered around the summit cairn are
(L to R) Frank, Dinah, Sonny and Bob. The snow-capped peak just
to the left of Frank is Mount Carnarvon.
||Dinah, Frank and Bob make their way
down a broad scree gully on the return trip.