Gusty Peak
When I descended from The Fortress in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park a few years ago, I passed right by Gusty Peak without even considering an attempt on bagging a second peak for the day.  Perhaps I was tired, or it was getting late (or likely both).  In any event, I returned on 15 October 2005 to scramble up Gusty Peak.  Since I was expecting an out-of-town guest to arrive that same day, I was up rather late cleaning my house the night before.  As a result, I slept in and didn't start hiking to Chester Lake until 1:40 PM.  Passing the lake about an hour later, I easily made my way up the valley to the northeast.  I encountered more and more snow the further I hiked up the valley, and when I finally turned a corner to get my first clear view of Gusty Peak's summit, my heart sank at the sight of all the snow on the scrambler's route.  Upon closer inspection, I could see where a few small avalanches had already released, and the upper slopes in general didn't appear to be heavily wind-loaded.  I decided to continue up and found the snow to be ideal for climbing, perhaps even better than the rubble when the route is snow-free.  A long upward plod had me on the summit by 5:23 PM.  Twenty minutes later, I was plunge-stepping back down the slope and breathed a huge sigh of relief when I reached the safe valley bottom.  My hike out was uneventful, and I was back at my car by 8:01 PM.
The larches have already lost most of their needles and colour. Gusty Peak is a familiar landmark for those who frequent the Chester Lake area.  The Fortress is barely visible at the head of the valley on the right.
So far, a pleasant that an oxymoron? Sonny makes his way up the valley northeast of Chester Lake.
Already some potential for avalanches here. This is the view of Gusty Peak near the head of the valley.  Sonny's route up to the summit is shown.
Note the evidence of an avalanche at bottom right. This is a closer look at the final slope leading to the summit (knob at right).
Possible ski ascent? The Fortress looks impressive to the east.
Unfortunately, the snow was still too soft to get a good glissade--it was ideal for plunge-stepping though. The snow actually makes the ascent a lot easier on this day.
Although it was cloudy for much of my ascent, the weather conveniently cleared up just as I reached the top! Sonny takes the last few steps to the summit.
About 3 hours and 40 minutes from the parking lot. Sonny squats on the 3000-metre summit of Gusty Peak.
These peaks all look kinda the same! Mount Galatea dominates the view to the northwest.  Just to the right and behind Mount Galatea is the Tower.
Because of the cornices on the left and the steep slope on the right, it was rather tricky to get to this vantage point. This is looking back at the summit from a short distance along Gusty Peak's north ridge.
What the heck was I thinking coming up here? Here is a view of the north side of Gusty Peak's summit ridge.  The false summit is at right.