Sunwapta Peak
Vern Dewit, Kelly Smith and I hooked up on 8 April 2006 to scramble up Sunwapta Peak in Jasper National Park.  Uncertain about snow conditions higher up the mountain, we nevertheless set off from the trail head at 8:30 AM and were soon hiking up the deadfall-choked trail alongside a drainage filled with spectacular icefalls.  Above treeline, we settled into a long, boring slog up endless snow-covered slopes.  Although we were not post-holing the whole way up, the snow was inconsistent enough to make the upward plod annoying if not tiresome.  I had a tough time keeping up with Vern and Kelly all day, and Vern did an outstanding job of breaking trail on the upper mountain.  When we finally reached the snow-covered summit cairn, we were disappointed by the lack of views due to cloud cover.  Frosty temperatures at the summit prompted us to cut our stay short, and we were soon retracing our steps down the mountain.  Although we had been anticipating a great glissade down the snow-covered slopes, in reality it was tough to pick up any speed because of the shallow angle and inconsistent snow.  Vern and Kelly seemed to have less trouble sliding down the slope and were soon back near treeline while I continued to flounder high up (I think my MEC Ferrata pants were a little too 'grippy' for the terrain, and I probably should have donned my nylon wind pants).  Thankfully, Vern and Kelly were kind enough to wait until I stumbled down the slope to rejoin them, and the rest of our descent was quick and uneventful.  We were back at the trail head by 4:48 PM.

Check out Vern's photos of this trip.
Aahhooooooooo! In a snow-covered field beside the highway north of Saskatchewan Crossing, this lone wolf sits down to watch a bunch of tourists get out of Vern's car to snap some photos.
The upper slopes look deceivingly short from the trail head. Vern gears up at the trail head with Sunwapta Peak in the background.
Now all we need is some scotch! This is one of the many icefalls in the scenic drainage.
Let the slogging begin! The drainage opens up near treeline revealing the upper mountain.
Unbelievably, the summit is about 3.5 hours away from here! Kelly and Vern plod up the endless slope.
A disappointing day for views. Here are some of the peaks visible across the Sunwapta River valley.
Food intake during the scramble:  me--1 energy bar, Vern--2 granola bars, Kelly--a virtual smorgasbord! Vern and Kelly stop briefly for some snacks.
The summit is still another 2 hours away! Vern and Kelly continue the long plod.
This is the first of several 'summit' ridges giving false hope to the beleaguered scrambler. The scenery gets a little more interesting higher up on the ridge.
Only another 40 minutes to the summit from here.  Yay. Some fantastic cornices make up for the lack of views.
About 5.5 hours from the car (a little less for Vern and Kelly). Sonny, Kelly and Vern stand beside the half-buried summit cairn on top of 3315-metre Sunwapta Peak.  Believe it or not.
Time for some fun...or so I thought! Tangle Ridge dominates the view to the south as Vern and Kelly descend the upper slopes of Sunwapta Peak.
I wish I had a Krazy Karpet! Vern gets set to glissade down the slope.
Kelly looks like he's been doing this for years. Kelly shows great form sliding down on his butt.
The snow patches actually help on descent. Back at treeline, Vern descends alongside the drainage.
Our descent time of 2.5 hours actually equals Steve Tober's ascent time for this peak! Back at the trail head, Kelly looks like he is ready to bag another peak!