While Oggy and her contingent ascended an avalanche gully to the east of Little Temple's summit, we elected to climb up further to the west to circumvent some cliffs guarding the south side of the peak. Beyond these cliffs, the rest of the ascent is merely a steep slog, and we encountered no difficulties in reaching the summit of Little Temple. I arrived at the summit a little ahead of Zora, Dinah and Bob, but instead of waiting for them to catch up, I down-climbed a tricky Class 4 chute in order to traverse to a slightly lower outlier to the northeast. Although there is nothing technical beyond the chute, the big rocks along the intervening ridge were quite slippery, and I had to be extra mindful of my footing. Even before I tagged the top of the outlier, I noticed that the others had reached the summit of Little Temple, but by the time I returned, they had already disappeared down the west ridge.
At this point, I was not entirely sure where Zora, Dinah and Bob were headed, and I momentarily considered descending Oggy's ascent gully in hopes of catching up to them at Temple Lake if that was indeed where they were going. However, down-climbing the Class 4 chute for a second time was unappealing enough to make me reconsider, and I eventually decided to simply descend my original ascent route. As I began descending from the summit of Little Temple, I caught sight of the others and noticed that they were heading westward instead of back to Temple Lake. I soon rejoined them further down the west ridge, and together, we worked our way through more larches before following a rocky draw all the way down to Lake Annette. The rain, which had been light and intermittent for most of the day, began to fall more steadily as we reached the lake, but once we plunged back into the forest along Paradise Valley trail, we were largely sheltered for the rest of our hike.
Despite overcast skies, this still turned out to be a very scenic and worthwhile trip, but the real highlight of the day for me was stopping afterward at Barpa Bill's in Banff townsite to enjoy a delicious Barpa Burger. I can hardly wait until my next trip to Banff!
Be sure to
check out Bob's trip
|As Bob and Zora gear up beside Bob's car, Dinah looks astonished to be starting a hike in the rain.|
|A good beaten path runs alongside the outlet stream for Temple Lake.|
|Bob is reflected in the outlet stream with golden larches visible in the distance.|
|Mount Temple is shrouded in clouds behind a large stand of golden larches.|
|Here is a closer look at the larches.|
|Dinah and Zora munch on sandwiches at Temple Lake.|
|The group aims for the ridge to the left of the cliffs above. The bushes on the slope can largely be avoided with some good route-finding.|
Bob and Dinah climb an avalanche slope above Temple Lake.
|Bob can be seen at bottom right climbing up the steep rubble slope beyond the cliffs guarding the southeast side of Little Temple.|
|Although the top of Mount Temple is hidden in clouds, the north face is still an impressive sight as seen from the summit of Little Temple.|
|Mount Aberdeen, Haddo Peak, Sheol Mountain, and Fairview Mountain are visible to varying degrees across Paradise Valley.|
|The village of Lake Louise can be seen beyond the outlier of Little Temple.|
|More golden larches are visible on the slopes of Panorama Ridge to the southeast.|
|The Aemmer Couloir almost looks in shape for the ski season!|
|This is looking back up the Class 4 chute that Sonny descended to continue to the outlier of Little Temple.|
|Zora and Dinah can be seen at the summit of Little Temple in this view from the connecting ridge to the outlier.|
|Sonny reaches the top of the outlier (2637 metres).|
|A little bit of sunshine falls on Fairview Mountain and Saddle Mountain to the northwest.|
|This wide gully below the col between Little Temple and its outlier offers an easy way back to the larch forest east of Temple Lake.|
|Back on the summit of Little Temple (2651 metres), Sonny takes a leap of faith and elects not to take a shorter alternate descent route to Temple Lake in hopes of catching up to the others.|
|Dinah, Bob and Zora appear to be happy to see Sonny again.|
|Dinah descends through another larch forest.|
|Bob, Dinah and Zora are enjoying their descent through the larch forest.|
Bob, Zora and Dinah cross a boulder field before entering another larch forest.
|Looking back up, Little Temple is barely visible behind the larch trees.|
|The larch trees begin to thin out as the group descends lower.|
|Zora and Dinah carefully pick their way down the rubble slope.|
|Bob continues down the draw which eventually curves to the right.|
Lake Annette is a most welcoming sight after the descent from Little Temple.
|Here is a last look at the lower north face of Mount Temple from the shores of Lake Annette.|
|Bob, Dinah and Sonny enjoy Barpa Burgers at Barpa Bill's in the town of Banff.|
Distance: 16.4 kilometres
Total Time: 7 hours 21 minutes
Net Elevation Gain: 932 metres