Steven Song's Peak-bagging Journey

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Mount Lawrence Grassi

This week's objective changed a dozen of time. Originally I planed heading to Castle with several extremely fit scramblers for a plan of 9-10 peaks in 3 days, however the weather forecast changed much quicker. Because it's a much longer drive, we wanted to do those mountains under clear sky, and the trip was canceled... This year's spring weather is shitty... Heavy snowpack plus massive rainfall. There's a documentation mentioning that the thinner ice sheet on Arctic Ocean is leading to dryer condition in SW North Amerca, ie, California, but wetter condition in NW North America, ie, Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, and Washington... Oh well..

I'm generally less critical about weather. Cloudy with showers and not-too-crazy wind is usually acceptable for less scenic mountains. I wouldn't do Mt Temple under this kind of weather, but I won't hesitate to do Mt Yamuska under this condition. After talking to Neil, we decided to do Windtower + Rimwall on Sunday. Monday and Tuesday looks pretty hopeless, so I had just the weekend, therefore I decided to take my mom as well. Most of the mountains around Canmore are small, plus the longer daylight time in June, I had to do two mountains on Saturday.

According to Arcturus's trip report, Mt Lawrence Grassi is snow free by now. If it's snow free, then its south peak, namely Ship's Prow Mountain, should be snow free as well. Due to the forecasted gusting wind in late afternoon and evening, we decided to start at 6AM. To get to either of these two, you have to start at Ha Ling / Miner's trail head, and walk about 20min around the base of the mountain, until reaching a drainage marked by cairn and flagging. Kane mentions bushwhacking on Lawrence Grassi, but it's actually non-existence. By now, there has already developed a well used trail straight up the slope on Lawrence Grassi. Yow won't have any problem to reach treeline by following this trail. The rest of the route is just tedious scree, rubble and slab. Mom is a strong hiker and snowshoeer, but not a skilled scrambler. She can't deal with any sort of loose terrain, so she stopped at treeline and I continued on the mountain solo. There's not much to describe on this mountain though. Near the summit block the ridge gets narrower with drop off on S. side and steep slab on N. side. The slabs are covered with scree as well, so be careful. Despite the moderate rating, I found this part straightforward. If Lawrence Grassi is moderate, then Rundle should definitely be a moderate. Dragon's Back is definitely more exposed.

Since I started early, I could see a yellow horizon towards SE from the summit. The rest of the sky was cloudy though. Apart from signing register and taking panorama, I didn't linger any longer. There might be a way to traverse directly from Lawrence Grassi to Ship's Prow, but apparently you have to downclimb a series of cliff bands. I've never read a report about this traverse, so I don't want to take a chance. I soon decent to treeline and re-joined mom, and we decent together the treed slope.

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Photos taken by Steven