Mount Yamnuska -- Jul 1, 2007

Elevation Gain: 900 meters (2952 feet)

Climbed by: me solo.

I needed to get out and climb something, but I didn't have a camera, which had been either lost or stolen on my recent trip to Utah's Canyonlands park (very excellent place to visit; we'll be doing that again, but paying more attention to where we leave our cameras!). The stolen/lost camera was my 'scrambling' camera -- our other one is too huge to lug around.

Anyway, this was Canada Day, so of course everyone was going to be out climbing things today. The weather was perfect for it, so why not.

This time, I was going to attempt to locate (and use) the "Climbers Route" up to the first notch. In theory, this is very easy, but because I'd always taken the lazy-hiker's route before, I didn't _quite_ know where I was going.

I parked in the usual spot, and took the direct route up to the first intersection, rather than taking the quarry route which wanders way off to the left, then way back to the right. At the first intersection at the top of the hill, I kept going straight. This is technically the descent route, though you are supposed to go along this path to get to the climbers route up to the face.

I walked along, and the only beta I had was that the trail I was looking for deaked off to the right, and that it was "not long" after the firs intersection.

I came upon a path leading to the right, and thought it looked like a poor candidate. It wasn't steep, and was "very" close to the first intersection.

So I wandered onward up the descent trail. I kept a close eye out, and after some time passed I started to chicken out. What if that first trail was really the one? I'd end up at the bottom of the famous Yam scree run, that's what.

I walked along a bit more, and decided that I was getting too close to the bottom of the scree run for me NOT to have walked past the trail. So I turned around and walked all the way back down to the little trail I'd found earlier.

I followed it for maybe 1 kilometer, thinking the whole time that this didn't feel right. It was too flat, and was running parallel to the face. Sure enough, it eventually intersected with the lazy-hiker trail which wasn't the way I'd wanted to go. So I turned around, walked back to the descent trail, and walked back up. As luck (my usual bad luck, that is) would have it, about 100m past where I turned around the first time, there was a super-obvious trail leading off to the right. It was well worn, steep, almost perpendicular to the face, and very definitely the right one. So up I went.

Sheesh, it was steep! This was one of the first thing's I'd done in 2007, and I was apparently out of shape. I slogged up, and quite soon got to the first notch. I ran into a couple girls there who didn't quite know the way so I pointed out the notch between the rocks. I stopped and had a drink and some food, and then followed them up.

It didn't take long to pass them. They were fast, but took frequent breaks.

At the Very Scary Traverse, I caught up with a group of what might have been college kids who didn't seem to know how to get past this part. I said hello, excuse me, stepped around some of their gear, and grabbed onto the hard line that makes the Very Scary Traverse perhaps better known as the Very Safe Traverse. As soon as I was on the cable, the college kids started to follow. I soon left them in the dust, and not much later I was on the summit.

I put on my gaiters and ran down as much of the descent as I could. Walking off the bottom of the scree run, I found a group of asians walking up well past the climber's route to the first notch. I pointed out to them that they appeared to be climbing this mountain backward, and they seemed surprised! I then explained that there were two ways up, one easy and long, the other short and hard. They wanted to use the short hard way, so I walked them back along the descent path to the climber's route. They looked up the steep incline, and thanked me doubtfully. I thought I'd stop and have a drink and watch as they climbed diagonally up the steep incline. Several of their party remarked that it sure was steep! No kidding!

On the way back to the truck, I passed probably 100 people. Crazy! Good thing I got there early. The parking lot was filled beyond overflowing!

From parking lot to parking lot, including all the backtracking and screwing around, this one took me 3.5 hours. Would have taken maybe just under 3 hours if I had known where I was actually going!