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Le Piston

[TR] Uto, Temple, and Eiffel - multiple 7/21/2013

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Trip: Uto, Temple, and Eiffel - multiple

 

Date: 7/21/2013

 

Trip Report:

Since my partner couldn't do our weeklong Pickets trip, I decided to head up to Canada to enjoy a bit of peak bagging. The first peak on the list was Eiffel (10,118 feet). I thought my trip was over on the first day as they weren't allowing anyone up the trail without at least four people in the group.DSC042591.JPG The park wardens are serious about this due to bear activity. I saw a pair of climbers getting a ticket on my way out from Temple three days later. $5000 max fine...ouch! I was fortunate enough to run into a friendly group of Alpine Club of Canada members going up to do Eiffel.DSC_4362.JPG It's mostly a hike until about 9500 feet when you hit some 3-4th class gullies and a chimney (or an optional small snow field). This was made more sporting by rain and thunder. The summit cairn and my ice axe were humming...time to scram. The rock was a bit slick coming down.DSC04214.JPGDSC04211.JPG I did some exploring and photography the next two days, hoping the weather would improve.DSC04729.JPG It's a very beautiful area between Lake Louise and Jasper.DSC_4872.JPGDSC04739.JPG After a wet hike up to Lake Agness and the Plain of Six Glaciers Friday, I was hoping the weather would improve.

Saturday dawn was clear and I showed up at the Moraine Lake trailhead at 6:30 a.m. hoping to tag along with another group. I was lucky again and ran into a guy named Shafiq wanting to do Mt. Temple and a group going up Wenkchemna Pass. At the trail fork Shafiq and I headed up to Sentinel Pass to start the SW ridge of Temple.

 

DSC04796.JPG It's mostly a scree scramble with a couple of 4th class moves.DSC04830.JPGThe route is pretty easy to follow between boot pack and cairns. It stuck pretty close to the ridge crest. It is a good conditioner at 11,624 feet with great views.DSC04855.JPGDSC04208.JPGDSC04851.JPGAfter the long hike out, I contacted my friend and professional guide Larry Dolecki to see if he was available to climb anything while the weather held. He could only spare one day, so he proposed we do Mt. Sir Donald car-to-car on Sunday. I drove back over Rogers Pass and rolled into the Illecillewaet at sundown and scored the last open spot. We met at about 4:00 a.m. at the parking lot. I had only gotten about 3 hours sleep and was still tired from Temple the previous day, and there was showers forecasted in the afternoon...so I decided Uto Peak was a safer bet. It has the same approach and shares a col with Sir Donald's NW ridge. I was feeling gassed by the time we got to the col, but once on rock started feeling better. The rock is really nice and blocky quartzite, so we simulclimbed the SE ridge.DSC04902.JPG We kept mostly to the ridge crest or slightly left of it. There were a couple awkward off-widths, but mostly very fun lower 5th class rock. The weather held up and we relaxed on the summit...with the traditional Ritter Sport reward.DSC04916_2_.JPGDSC04918.JPGDSC04921.JPG We downclimbed most of the ridge with a few rappels on the steeper parts. It was a long hike out, but the views...especially of Mt. Sir Donald were inspiring. Larry said we'll do that next time I'm up and more rested. It looks like a great route.

 

Gear Notes:

Eiffel and Temple are scrambles mostly on rock and scree...no axes needed. Poles were handy at times. For Uto we had helmets, 60m rope, a small rack (didn't use), and plenty of slings. Plenty of rap stations and horns to sling.

 

Approach Notes:

Eiffel south ridge/face: Moraine Lake trailhead just past the canoe dock. Take the Larch Valley trail. Just past the fork for Wenkchemna Pass trail is an unmarked trail descending to a creek and up the south ridge of Eiffel. Temple southwest ridge: Same approach as for Eiffel, but continue up to Sentinel Pass. Then just follow the trail/cairns staying mostly on the ridge crest. Uto Southeast Ridge: Nice trail to Uto-Sir Donald Col. One snow field to traverse. With poles and approach shoes, not too bad. If it was icy I'd want an axe.

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Much appreciated. I love it up there! I hope you can get to do more up there...it's so beautiful and not too far away.

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