When I reached the slabs, I met a fellow huddled in an orange poncho. His name was Wieslaw Szleper, and he had just come over from the north peak of Anthozoan Mountain. We chatted for a little while longer before I suddenly realized that this was the same guy that we had picked up earlier on the road to Temple Lodge. Wieslaw seemed a little tentative about continuing up the last few slippery metres in the rain, but as soon as I started climbing again, he followed me up the slabs to the summit. The rain let up for a bit at the summit, but with the deteriorating weather, I had no illusions of continuing on to Anthozoan Mountain. Wieslaw came up behind me, tagged the summit, said farewell, and quickly headed down. He still had a long walk ahead of him to get back to the Fish Creek trail head, but at least he would be sleeping in a warm, dry bed that night. I had forgotten my sleeping pad and wasn't looking forward to an uncomfortable night sleeping on my backpack in a cold, wet tent. As I left the summit, the rain resumed its steady fall.
When I finally got back to camp (round-trip time of 3 hours), Dan and
Kelly were already in the tent. We all skipped dinner that night
and crashed in our sleeping bags for the next 12 hours half-sleeping and
half-listening to the
rain and wind pound our tent. The next morning, the rain stopped
briefly to allow us to eat breakfast and pack up our gear. Instead
of hiking to Merlin Meadows as originally planned, we decided to
head home as another rainstorm swept into the area. Overall, I was
disappointed that I only managed to bag one peak on this trip, but this
was a worthwhile experience for me in gauging the effort and commitment
required to tackle the scrambles in this area.
|Kelly and Dan hike up the trail to Boulder Pass (far right). Ptarmigan Peak is at centre.
|This is the view from Boulder Pass of Ptarmigan Lake with Fossil Mountain, Mount Douglas and Mount St. Bride in the background.
|A golden-mantled ground squirrel looks for something good to eat near Boulder Pass.
|Brachiopod Mountain and Anthozoan Mountain come into view.
|Dan and Kelly ford the outlet stream of Baker Lake.
|Ptarmigan Peak looks very striking from Baker Lake.
|Dan and Kelly approach the base of Brachiopod Mountain.
|Dark clouds gather as Dan grovels up the scree slope.
|In this view from the summit of Brachiopod Mountain, the true summit of Anthozoan Mountain looks far away.
|Sonny gets drenched by rain on the 2650-metre summit of Brachiopod Mountain. Ptarmigan Peak and Wall of Jericho are visible in the distance.
|Wieslaw comes up the summit ridge. Across the valley is Fossil Mountain.