Wapta Mountain
On 17 July 2005, I got off to a late start at 2:36 PM to scramble up Wapta Mountain in Yoho National Park.  Starting from Whiskey Jack Hostel, I easily hiked over Yoho Pass to reach Wapta Highline Trail as it contours around the west side of Wapta Mountain.  After passing under some cliffs, I scrambled up what I thought was the "obvious watercourse" described by Alan Kane.  Higher up, I entered a steep gully which entailed difficult scrambling, and I had a funny feeling that I was way off route.  Sure enough, I was soon stopped by steep cliffs, but more depressingly, I was still unsure about the correct route through the "first rock band" as noted by Kane.  Since it was already 5:33 PM, I was almost ready to give up and go home, but I was determined to at least find the correct route.  I carefully worked my way down the steep gully and then traversed along a slippery ledge below some yellow cliffs.  It never fails to amaze me how mountain routes look different from up close compared to from afar.  As such, I easily found the correct route through the rock band, and less than half an hour after I got 'cliffed out', I was back on track for the summit.

After a long plod through much rubble, I followed some footprints up a steep snow slope and eventually reached the base of the crux.  Although numerous possibilities (unfortunately all difficult) exist for surmounting the crux, I chose to ascend a crack that was flagged at the bottom.  Thankfully, both the crack and the subsequent south ridge were dry on this day, and I had no further problems in reaching the summit at 7:43 PM.  Returning to the crux from the summit, I descended the same crack I had come up.  At one point, I felt one of my handholds move slightly, but I quickly grabbed a more reliable piece of rock and was soon safely off the crux.  The rest of my descent was highlighted by a great glissade down the aforementioned snow slope and by a horrible bushwhack down the avalanche slope just south of the correct "obvious watercourse" (just plain bad route selection on my part).  I felt a measure of relief when I stumbled back onto Wapta Highline Trail.  Another long walk had me back at my car by 10:49 PM.
These are the "trailside cliffs" described by Alan Kane. Sonny hikes along Wapta Highline Trail.  Mount Burgess is barely visible in the distance.
A beautiful mountain and a great scramble to boot! This is Mount Carnarvon as seen from Wapta Highline Trail.
As evidenced by some beaten paths, I'm not the first one to have gone wrong here. This is what Sonny thought was the "obvious watercourse".  It is not necessarily a bad place to ascend, but the correct route is further to the right.
Ideally, you don't want to end up at this viewpoint! This is the view of the "first rock band" from where Sonny 'cliffed out'.  The correct route through the rock band is indicated by the letter B.  Sonny would eventually traverse the ledge below the yellow cliffs.
Great glissading conditions here!  The footprints I followed belonged to a party that ascended earlier in the day. The summit block is in sight as Sonny approaches a steep snow slope.
It's steeper than it looks, and some of the rocks are disturbingly loose. Sonny scrambles up the crux.  Note the flagging.
This part is much easier than the crux. The south ridge is airy and exciting.
Lots of interesting names in this register! Sonny holds up the register at the 2778-metre summit of Wapta Mountain.
Okay, enough pics.  Time to start worrying about descending the crux! Mount Stephen dominates the view to the south.  Also visible are Mount Field (lower left) and Goodsir Towers (far right on horizon).
Pick your crack and go for it! Here is another look at the crux from below.  Letter C marks the crack that Sonny climbed.
It's hard to see, but there is actually a herd of goats at bottom right of centre. This is another look at the ledge that Sonny had to traverse during his ascent to get back on route.
It's 9:05 PM, and I still have a long ways to go! Mount Burgess looks dramatic in the late day sun.