Steven Song's Peak-bagging Journey

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Ramp Peak

Ben went home after finishing Mosquito Mountain and Emerald. I was very tired too, but being in the mountains with great weather and avalanche condition, I didn't like to go home, so I went to Canmore and checked my email. Luckily I saw Wietse was looking for partners on Friday. Good, so I pointed out several objectives, and he picked up Ramp Peak, the longest of these...

We met at 7:30 in Canmore, and started our day at about 9. Following the same approach, Mosquito Creek, we made a good pace. Wietse was skiing, and I was on snowshoes. On the way in we passed Tyler's group who also planned on Ramp Peak. Good, now we thought we gonna have 5 people breaking trail. In about 1 hour, we made to M5 campground.

We immediately left the trail, and entered the forest, diagonally uphill towards climber's left side. The trail breaking wasn't too bad initially, but got worse and worse as we were gaining elevation. Wietse's skins couldn't get a grip on the sugary bottomless snow, and I took turn packing down the trail. At least I had big teeth on my snowshoes which somehow helped. Condition was even worse than the nearby Mosquito Mountain, I post-holed knee to waist deep. Eventually we made to treeline and our objective came in view. At this point Tyler's group still didn't catch us up so we thought they had already turned around..

There were a couple of bumps on the way to Ramp, and each one of those involves steep unconsolidated slope. The crux for us was to cross a very steep slope. Again, I slowly broke trail across this thing, and it was just like the one on Mosquito Mountain. After this bit, over a few more bumps, we were at the base of the actual "Ramp".

It wasn't as steep as expected. Since Wietse was on skis, I tried to do some big and flat switchbacks up the slope, and it felt like eternity. We must had taken more than 1 hour to get up the final slope. Eventually I ditched snowshoes on the summit ridge, and walked to the summit which was only 5min away. The clouds rolled in and I lost the view. It was windy and cold on the top so I didn't bother to wait, plus I was worrying about my descending speed. So I started the descend, and soon weather cleared up nicely... Wietse was about 10 minutes behind me so he must have got better view. Plunge stepping down the Ramp was much faster than expected and in no time I made back to the base. Now I could look back and took photos of Wietse skiing down this slope.

Our speed down the alpine section was roughly the same, but once getting back to treeline, the skiing became much harder. It was really hard to make turns, but I could just walk straight down to wherever I want. I didn't notice Wietse wasn't following me, and after I got back to the campground, I waited for 20min and Wietse still didn't show up. So I left my backpack at the campsite, and went back up almost to the treeline, until I noticed his down track deviating from our ascend track.... I followed that track down and it dropped down to the other side of the valley floor. Seems like Wietse had already gone back to car so I cut sharply left post-holing back to the campsite to retrieve my pack. On the final slog back to car, I got catched up by Tyler, who also got separated with his partners. They ended up doing Mosquito Mountain. My headlamp batteries died completely on the way back, and thankfully Tyler had a much brighter one. I also had extra batteries but didn't bother to use them as Tyler's was so bright. When we got back to car, Wietse and Tyler's partners were waiting for us. We all made back safely.

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Photos taken by Steven