Isolated Peak
After some extensive discussions on the Rocky Mountain Books WebForum, a group of six, which consisted of Linda Breton, Vern Dewit, Dinah Kruze, Bob Spirko, Dave Stephens and myself, decided to get together for a weekend of scrambling in Little Yoho Valley in Yoho National Park.  While Linda, Dinah and Bob would get to the Stanley Mitchell Hut later in the day, Vern, Dave and I headed in early on the morning of 8 July 2005 so that we could bag Isolated Peak in the afternoon.  Having slept for only three hours the night before and carrying a rather hefty pack, I struggled to keep up to Vern and Dave on the hike into Little Yoho Valley.  Despite my slow pace, we still made it to the hut and campground in less than three hours, and after setting up camp (Dave and I would be tenting at the nearby campground while the rest stayed at the hut), the three of us hiked up the steep trail behind the hut leading to the hanging valley below Isolated Peak.  It wasn't long before I started to lag behind Vern and Dave again, but I had already given up trying to keep pace with them and settled into a slow but steady plod.  Turning the corner around the west side of Isolated Peak, I saw Vern and Dave climbing up a steep snow-filled gully.  I promptly followed in their footsteps, but as I climbed higher, I was alarmed by the increasing steepness of the snow slope.  Even as I stepped onto easier terrain further up, I was already dreading the return trip because I realized that the gully which I had just come up would be both tricky and dangerous to descend.

When I reached the summit of Isolated Peak, I was a little dumbfounded that Vern and Dave were nowhere to be seen.  I found out later that while I was still in the ascent gully, they had missed it on their way down from the summit and ended up finding a much easier, snow-free gully to descend.  Vern and Dave actually waited for about an hour on the snowfield below the west side of Isolated Peak while I puttered about on the summit taking photos and wondering what had become of them.  I finally saw them waving and yelling at me when I descended the summit ridge, but it took me awhile to realize that they were trying to direct me over to the easier gully they had descended (I initially thought they were just cheering me for having made it to the top!).  As soon as they were sure that I was past all difficulties, Vern and Dave took off for the hut to get out of the drizzle that was slowly soaking all of us.  I joined Vern and Dave about 40 minutes after they reached the hut (my round-trip time from the hut was 4.5 hours), and I was thankful to have a warm place to dry out some of my gear.  Linda, Dinah and Bob finally arrived at the hut a little later, and we all had fun socializing for the rest of the evening.

Be sure to check out Vern's and Dave's photos of this trip.
There would be lots of laughs during this weekend. On their way to Little Yoho Valley, Vern and Dave share a chuckle near Laughing Falls.
This would be as close as I would ever get to Dave and Vern on this scramble. This is the hanging valley behind the Stanley Mitchell Hut.  The route to Isolated Peak follows the easy slope on the right.
I could use a nap right about now. Sonny hikes up the snowfield on the west side of Isolated Peak.  Straight ahead is the south end of Glacier Des Poilus.
Not the best route choice on this day... Vern and Dave climb up the snow-filled gully.  The angle of the slope is more severe than what the photo might suggest.
Still looks like some good skiing to be July! Some of the mountains visible to the north from the upper slopes of Isolated Peak include (L to R) Mount des Poilus, Mount Collie and Mount Rhondda.
I couldn't open the register canister because it was sealed so tightly! Sonny stands on the 2845-metre summit of Isolated Peak.  In the distance just to the right of Sonny is Mount Niles.
What a gloomy day... The lower (right) peak is Mount Kerr.