Steven Song's Peak-bagging Journey

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Mount Rundle

This is my 2nd try on Mount Rundle. The first try was on July 25th, we turned around after Dragon's Back due to complete exhaustion and the incoming weather. After the 11 hours lengthy trip on Cascade Mountain the day before, non of us wanted an early start. We discussed other possible objectives, but too bad I didn't have any route information other than Mount Rundle. I didn't have Alan Kane Book by that time. Oh well, we started the ascent at 10AM in the morning.

The parking lot isn't obvious. You follow Bow Falls road, cross the river, then you'll see a golf course on your right. The parking lot is a pull-off on the right side. We walked down the road for another 100-200m, and look for trail head sign. This trail is considerably steeper than the nearby Cascade Amphitheatre Trail. I felt extremely short on energy at the start and I had to stop and rest for every few minutes or so. Good thing was, this problem didn't last long. After the trail turns right and paralleling the base of the mountain, you gonna have to cover 3km on this section. It went on forever before the first switchback. Then it's endless switchbacks.. After this section, you traverse horizontally towards climber's right again, crossing 2 miner gullies, and then you're at the main gully.

We carefully crossed the gully to the other side, looking for flaggings. Beyond this point, the trail is unmaintained and steep. The forested ridge section is surprisingly long. Once above treeline, we had to focus on the endless scree above. The view was good, but not breathe-taking. Oh yeah, there's nothing special about Sulphur Mountain (which occupies most of our view at this point). Mom awkwardly followed us up a few hundred meters and decided to stop and call for a day. She was very uncomfortable on the loose ground. She was afraid that, if she slipped she would slide down the entire face...

Dad was helping mom so he also fell behind quite a bit. Considering he had made through Dragon's Back on our first try, I didn't wait for him but continued by myself. By this point, I was speeding up quite a bit, and soon I reached Dragon's Back. This is definitely the crux of the ascent and any scrambler who is not comfortable on exposure will find it challenging. The narrowest section is about 1.5m wide on slabby terrain, with shear drop-off on both sides. Because this was my second time up here, I quickly made through. Now what, endless scree slog. The higher I went up, the looser the ground was. No footing is solid, and I had to hands-down for balance regularly. Near the summit ridge, the terrain got steeper and a bit rockier. I sticked to rock to avoid further scree bashing, and soon I made to the summit ridge. I waited for about 20min for dad to show up. There's a huge wind shelter and we stayed for about half an hour soaking the view. Towards east is a shear cliff down all the way to Bow River, one mile down. Cascade Mountain looks impressive towards north. The summit is an easy 5min walk from this point, but we didn't continue. We were all satisfied and our goal was mainly too see the views. Considering the amount of effort I put into, I still call it a successful summit day, and this way, I don't need to do all of these painful things again :)

Coming down the loose scree was much faster and easier. We quickly ran down the scree to the slabby Dragon's Back. Going down that section requires more caution, and we made through with no incidence. We re-joined mom at lower slope and we slowly made down to treeline. Now, a not-so-pleasant hike brought us eventually back to car. I was extremely beat and I couldn't even walk properly after dinner... Dad did most of the drive back home.

Slideshow
Me on the summit
1
Me on the summit
77 views
 
Sulphur Mountain
2
Sulphur Mountain
64 views
 
Look over Sanson's Peak
3
Look over Sanson's Peak
75 views
 
Near treeline
4
Near treeline
63 views
 
Cory & its neighbours
5
Cory & its neighbours
65 views
 
Typical terrain
6
Typical terrain
73 views
 
Getting slabby
7
Getting slabby
136 views
 
Another summit on Rundle
8
Another summit on Rundle
66 views
 
The slope across main gully
9
The slope across main gully
72 views
 
Slabby terrain near Dragon's Back
10
Slabby terrain near Dragon's Back
68 views
 
Dragon's Back
11
Dragon's Back
68 views
 
The upper slope
12
The upper slope
58 views
 
13
56 views
 
14
58 views
 
Look towards Massive Range
15
Look towards Massive Range
58 views
 
Cascade Mtn & Minnewanka area
16
Cascade Mtn & Minnewanka area
49 views
 
Bow River & Hwy 1
17
Bow River & Hwy 1
61 views
 
Lake Minnewanka & Mt. Aylmer
18
Lake Minnewanka & Mt. Aylmer
91 views
 
Fairholme Range
19
Fairholme Range
57 views
 
20
66 views
 
A wind shelter
21
A wind shelter
101 views
 
Bow River
22
Bow River
57 views
 
Mt Assiniboine
23
Mt Assiniboine
31 views
 
Mt Temple
24
Mt Temple
45 views
 
Mount Brewster
25
Mount Brewster
50 views
 
Cascade Mountain
26
Cascade Mountain
32 views
 
Dad on the summit
27
Dad on the summit
47 views
 
28
50 views
 
Scree skiing the upper slope
29
Scree skiing the upper slope
51 views
 
Looking back
30
Looking back
60 views
 
Photos taken by Steven