Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mt. Yamnuska's Summit

Hiking and scrambling season is closing to its end and I have not done many of the ones that I have planned. Last weeks's try of Mt. Yamnuska was a disappointment. I went all the way to Kananaskis and went up but the mist and dampness prevented me from finishing it. Today I was determined to hit the summit so I woke up at 05:00 AM. I looked out of the window and damn it was dark! I mean very dark. I laid down again and gave myself a bit of rest because I had done a bit of weightlifting on Fri. afternoon but then said to myself: Today I'm someone who cannot do Yamnuska and later ...? I dressed up and went down. I slowly drove and I wanted to give enough time to the day to illuminate itself!
Campanula or Bell Flower is the only wildflower that I saw still blooming in Yamnuska
By the time I reached the parking lot it was almost 06:50 AM. There was only one car parked there. I geared up and started my journey at exactly 06:57 AM. I took the same path as last week's and I wanted to reach the summit. This was the western approach so similar to the last week I hit the damn scree and struggled to go up. Fortunately there was no fog and dampness and the surrounding was beautiful. It was so quiet and peaceful. There was no working machinery in the valley, no noise from the highway and no aircraft. But they all came one after another on the way back. The ascend up the scree was very challenging and although I had the experience of last week, this one felt tougher but I had a better time! I didn't really know where to go after I reached the rocky wall of the mountain unless I knew I had to go west and then at the end, where I had been last week, it was a bit difficult to find the route because it was a faded one but  I managed to get myself on the right pass and go behind the mountain. I reached a some sort of flat area after a while which on both my left and right hand side there were summits. 
This is the mountain you see behind Yamnusk and after a little research(!) I guess I found it. It should be Old Goat Mountain although I'm not sure whether it is an official name. I might even be mistaken. Anyone can help please?
I remembered from last week that a guy from a small group of three had told me that from where I finished the scree to the summit there was 3 hours left. So told myself that the right side summit could not be the true summit because it does not seem too far-fetched. It should be the left summit which looked both technical and far. So I headed that way but after only a few steps I realized that could not be the summit of Mt. Yamnuska so I headed for the right hand side summit to south. I found a trial which the more I went up the more faded it got but eventually showed itself as the route to the summit. I saw a guy on the top while I was approaching and that was it. I was there in about 02:30 hours.
Here my intention was to capture the beautiful green colour of the are. I might have achieved that partially but I could not get rid of the excessive blue in the background. I have to read this damn manual completely!
I chatted with a fella and I realized that he had taken the east route. He headed down toward west after a few minutes and told me that the west route was harder. I took a few photos and headed down. Not many people showed today. I only saw a few while I was getting close to the parking lot. I reached the car at about 11:30 AM which made my descend equal to 01:30. It was a good hike generally but I was expecting more. I don't regret it. It was in my schedule and now it's done. The best season though to go up Mt. Yamnuska is late July because that's the time you can enjoy the beauty of wildflowers. 
(Photo, top: Start of Bow Valley and Prairies from the summit of Mt. Yamnuska)

No comments: