Mount Sarbach
On 13 August 2005, I scrambled up Mount Sarbach near Saskatchewan Crossing in Banff National Park.  Starting from the Mistaya Canyon trail head at 7:30 AM, I easily hiked up to the old fire lookout site situated just below tree line at the end of Mount Sarbach's north ridge.  At the back of the lookout site, I followed a faint trail which quickly peters out near a small cairn.  From there, I simply headed uphill and soon was grinding up a typical Canadian Rockies rubble slope.  I bypassed the first "insignificant" notch as described by Alan Kane before scrambling up to the crest of the ridge.  I had no problems down-climbing the 10-metre chimney in the second notch, but some of the rocks here are disturbingly loose.  After some more easy scrambling, I crossed the "football field-sized plateau" and continued to the base of the steep ridge leading up to the false summit.  Following Kane's advice, I stuck to the ridge crest and thoroughly enjoyed scrambling up this section.  There were some lingering ice patches near the top, but I managed to avoid all of them and eventually reached the false summit.  Much of the rock on the summit ridge is rotten and loose; thus, I took my time (another 30 minutes) as I cautiously made my way up to the true summit about half a kilometre further to the south.

Because of some haze in the air, the views of Mount Forbes and Freshfield Icefield from Mount Sarbach's summit were somewhat disappointing, but the weather was so nice that I stayed there for well over an hour (or more likely it took me that long to think of a limerick for the summit register) before reluctantly beginning my long descent.  After bypassing the false summit, I essentially retraced my steps back down the north ridge.  Descending below the first notch, I thought I was pretty much home free, but as if the scrambling deities weren't going to let me bag such a big peak without exacting some sort of penance (and as if 1630 metres of height gain and numerous difficult cruxes weren't enough), I completely missed the lookout site and somehow ended up in a bushy avalanche gully further south of the access trail.  Feeling a little annoyed, I headed north and powered my way through the undergrowth until I finally stumbled upon the trail; now I was home free.  Climbing the last 40 metres out of Mistaya Canyon, I passed a group of tired kayakers slowly hauling their kayaks and gear up to the trail head.  I didn't speak to any of them, but I wondered what adventures they had that day and if those were as exhilarating as my scramble up Mount Sarbach (12 hours round-trip).
The true summit is not visible here. This is the view of Mount Sarbach from the trail head.  The letter N marks the second (more difficult) notch.
'Lookout' is kinda misleading as the trees obscure much of the views. This is the former fire lookout site.
Check out Alan Kane's ascent of Mount Wilson here: There is a clearer view of Mount Wilson higher up the slope behind the lookout site.
Another classic 'bum' shot! Just past the first notch, Sonny scrambles up to the ridge crest.
You still have a long way to go, Sonny.  Quit mugging for the camera! Behind Sonny is Mount Sarbach's long north ridge.  This photo illustrates why Kane advises scramblers not to "be lured into easier looking gullies angling down" from the ridge on descent.
The scrambling on the other side is easier than it looks. This is looking across the second notch.
Some of the rocks are loose here.  Check your holds carefully! Sonny descends the difficult chimney.
Bring it on! Sonny reaches the bottom of the chimney (in shadow).
Dan Millar's old wallet is somewhere down by the shores of Glacier Lake! From the ridge, there is already a nice view of Glacier Lake and Lyell Icefield.
Sadly, this was the clearest view I had of Mount Forbes on this day. Mount Forbes (3612 metres) pokes up behind Mount Outram (3240 metres).
This reminds me of the plateau on Fisher Peak--a good place to while away the rest of the day! Sonny crosses the "football field-sized plateau".
Nice ice! Here is a closer look at the glacier hugging the face below the false summit of Mount Sarbach.
Great scrambling here! Sonny scrambles up the steep ridge leading to the false summit.
Hmmm...Squaw's Tit comes to mind! Getting past the upper part of the ridge requires some route-finding.  The nipple at right is the true summit.
Also visible is the confluence of Mistaya, Howse and North Saskatchewan Rivers. This is looking down at the broad north ridge of Mount Sarbach.
What can be more exciting than peaks and nipples? Sonny approaches the top of the false summit; the nipple here is a cairn.  At left are the Kaufmann Peaks (3109 metres).
The true summit is not as far as it looks, but the connecting ridge has a lot of loose rocks. Leaving the false summit, Sonny heads for the true summit in the distance.
Bypass the knob in front on the right side before scrambling back onto the ridge. This is the view of the connecting ridge to the true summit.
Almost there...really!! This is the summit block of Mount Sarbach.  Note the footprints in the snow (a party of three climbed the peak six days earlier).
It doesn't look like it from this angle, but the last few blocks are narrow and exposed. Sonny takes the last few precarious steps before the summit.
My topo map actually shows Mount Sarbach as being only 3127 metres.  Another height controversy? Sonny plants his foot triumphantly on the true summit cairn of Mount Sarbach (3155 metres).
I bagged this peak exactly nine years, to the day, after Alan Kane! Mount Sarbach's summit register is almost as old as Sonny!  In fact, the register's staples have rusted and completely disintegrated.  Thankfully, Sonny is still going strong!
Paul Russell wants to bag this peak. Dominating the view to the east is Mount Murchison (3333 metres).
Best view of the day. At centre in the distance behind Epaulette Mountain (3095 metres) are Mount Chephren (3266 metres), White Pyramid (3275 metres) and Howse Peak (3290 metres).
Nancy Hansen's last 11,000 footer! Despite the haze, Mount Forbes still looks impressive to the west.
I could use a nice cold drink right about now! Sonny heads back along the north ridge.  The big peak on the horizon at left is Mount Cline (3361 metres).
Another amazing day in the Canadian Rockies! Here's another look at Mount Chephren and White Pyramid.