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
|This is the view of Mount Sarbach from the trail head. The letter N marks the second (more difficult) notch.
|This is the former fire lookout site.
|There is a clearer view of Mount Wilson higher up the slope behind the lookout site.
|Just past the first notch, Sonny scrambles up to the ridge crest.
|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.
|This is looking across the second notch.
|Sonny descends the difficult chimney.
|Sonny reaches the bottom of the chimney (in shadow).
|From the ridge, there is already a nice view of Glacier Lake and Lyell Icefield.
|Mount Forbes (3612 metres) pokes up behind Mount Outram (3240 metres).
|Sonny crosses the "football field-sized plateau".
|Here is a closer look at the glacier hugging the face below the false summit of Mount Sarbach.
|Sonny scrambles up the steep ridge leading to the false summit.
|Getting past the upper part of the ridge requires some route-finding. The nipple at right is the true summit.
|This is looking down at the broad north ridge of Mount Sarbach.
|Sonny approaches the top of the false summit; the nipple here is a cairn. At left are the Kaufmann Peaks (3109 metres).
|Leaving the false summit, Sonny heads for the true summit in the distance.
|This is the view of the connecting ridge to the true summit.
|This is the summit block of Mount Sarbach. Note the footprints in the snow (a party of three climbed the peak six days earlier).
|Sonny takes the last few precarious steps before the summit.
|Sonny plants his foot triumphantly on the true summit cairn of Mount Sarbach (3155 metres).
|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!
|Dominating the view to the east is Mount Murchison (3333 metres).
|At centre in the distance behind Epaulette Mountain (3095 metres) are Mount Chephren (3266 metres), White Pyramid (3275 metres) and Howse Peak (3290 metres).
|Despite the haze, Mount Forbes still looks impressive to the west.
|Sonny heads back along the north ridge. The big peak on the horizon at left is Mount Cline (3361 metres).
|Here's another look at Mount Chephren and White Pyramid.