Steven Song's Peak-bagging Journey

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Roche Miette

Supposed to be only a moderate to difficult scramble, but it ends up being one of my most serious ascents. It is my first scramble with Morgan Peacock. We skipped Friday because the weather forecast looks gorgeous on that day. Roche Miette is rated as a moderate to difficult scramble. However, due to ascending wrong gully, we miserably upgraded it to a higher level. Morgan rates it as an Alpine Climb Free Solo, while I haven't done any alpine climb so I can't tell, but what I can tell is our descent gully (proper scramble route) is really nothing compared with our ascent gully. Anyway, we made to the summit.

From the parking lot, walk down a cutline for 15min? or so. The trail is obvious because there are deadfalls blocking the cutline ahead. Based on other scramblers' reports, it seems like most people got on wrong trail. There are indeed several junctions on the trail but the wrong one usually has a deadfall on it. Anything like that indicates you shouldn't go that way.

Morgan attempt this mountain last year, so I assumed he knew exactly where to turn and which gully to ascend. However, we counted too much on each other, and we were both not quite sure which gully to ascend...... I seriously didn't even read thoroughly Kane's book about Roche Miette. At the saddle looking towards the summit, the proper gully is on the left side, left of the big snow gully. It looks to me the right-side-most gully is the driest. Ooops, the game began here. The goal is just to climb up. But what we couldn't see was some of the cliff bands' slabs are down-slopping. Combined with the snow and ice, this really makes the feeling of doing an alpine climb. There're several spots that require climber's move, but they're not super exposed. A fall will hurt you or might injure you, but won't kill you. With the successful and miserable ascent of Midnight Peak (a wrong ridge ascent), these moves and situations didn't impose too much problem to me, but for Morgan, it definitely exceeded his comfortable level. He was very nervous about if we could make out of the gully and if not, we had to down climb all the way. I was faster so I decided to go by myself to see if it works (based on my observation from the saddle it's quite doable, but you never know). If it works, he then continue. I didn't encounter any major rock band that's higher than 2m, nor any exposed section. It took him a while (I forget how long) to get through this gully and we were both topping out on the plateau...

Okay... We made two stupid mistakes. 1. You should always respect any mountain especially the ones rated moderate or difficult so bring a route photo, no matter if you've attempt it before or not. 2. If you find out you're on a wrong route, turn back unless all of your team members can downclimb those difficult sections. I'm okay to downclimb those. For several spots I climbed up then down then up again just to make sure I can retrace down if this gully doesn't work, BUT I'm not sure if Morgan can...

After this gully part, it was only a leisurely walk to the summit cairn. We checked out the register, the last ascent was in October, 2011, so we made the first ascent in 2012. The descending route (correct route) is quite loose and steep, and I would say it’s only a moderate scramble, not difficult. Compared with our ascent route, it's really nothing but tedious. We had to be careful not to kick down rocks to each other. The lower section is a fun glissade down the major snow gully. After finishing all the scrambling parts, we had to watch sunset on the mountain... We speeded up and barely made back before headlamp time.

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Me on the summit
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Me on the summit
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Alpenglow
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Alpenglow
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P2173574-76
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P2173574-76
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P2173582-84 1
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P2173582-84 1
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Roche Miette
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Roche Miette
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P2173617-19
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Roche De Smet
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Roche De Smet
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P2173626-28 2
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P2173623-25
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P2173623-25
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Roche a Perdrix
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Roche a Perdrix
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A bit of exposure
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A bit of exposure
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The real game
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The real game
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P2173673-77 2
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P2173673-77 2
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P2173690-91
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Hinton and Yellowhead Hwy
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Hinton and Yellowhead Hwy
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Jacques Range
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Jacques Range
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Summit Register
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Summit Register
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Our page. The data is wrong...
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Our page. The data is wrong...
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An interesting picture
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An interesting picture
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Morgan and the summit cairn
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Morgan and the summit cairn
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Jasper & Talbot Lakes
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Jasper & Talbot Lakes
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P2173755 1
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P2173755 1
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Morgan on the summit
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Morgan on the summit
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The impressive rock face
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The impressive rock face
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P2173761-62
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This shows the steepness
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This shows the steepness
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P2173785-87 1
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P2173828-29
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P2173831
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P2173831
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Photos taken by Steven