Steven Song's Peak-bagging Journey

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Red Ridge

The day after the miserable ascent of Midnight Peak, we decided to do something less demanding, so our original plan was to do either Mt. Yamuska or Mt. Baldy. However, due to the howling chinook wind, the wind speed on Mt. Baldy's summit was forecasted to be approaching 150km/hr. Well, that's not gonna work... So our only choice was to drive on Smith Dorrien Road, although not good for our car. We chose Red Ridge, a moderate to difficult snowshoe objective. The stats don't look demanding though (9km distance with 950m elevation gain), really? NOOOO!! we had to break trail right at the beginning. But we did manage to find a snowshoe trail after 30min trail breaking, which saved a lot of energy. My mom couldn't keep up with my pace, so I pretty much ascent in a leisure pace. After 1 hour 50min, we broke the treeline. The wind speed suddenly increased from zero to almost the strongest speed I've ever experienced in the rockies... My mom couldn't even stand alone on that wind, so she decided to wait for me at treeline again. It's only half way though, at this point.
With the 100kpm wind?, I started the trudging towards the summit. The sky was grey but at least it was not a whiteout, so I still can see most of the mountains except the highest ones. Although I didn't have the clear sky, the views were fine. The ridge itself, I would say, it's endless false summit ridge... holy crap, after you climbing over a hump, there are always more to come. It's pretty discouraging, especially under this strong wind. I had to ditch my snowshoe after the first hump, then it's a mix of easy and moderate scrambling. I hate the snow covered boulder field completely, as you could start a all-the-sudden knee deep post-holing without even a clue. Without care, you would easily break you leg or ankle. It took me 1 hour 40min from the treeline to the summit. I didn't find a register, and the cairn wasn't big at all, but i'm sure it's the summit. Although not perfect, the views were still fine at that time. I could take a panorama. I didn't linger any longer, but started descending ASAP..... TOOOO windy and cold. Due to the snow-ice-covered boulder field, I couldn't descend much faster. It took me 1 hour 10min to get back to treeline. By the way, the cornices on Red Ridge are amazing, but also dangerous though. I almost stepped onto one of them. Avalanche is not a problem on this day.
It took no time nor energy to snowshoe back to our car. Since we still had daylight time, we decided to give Spray Lake a visit, that is, snowshoeing on to the lake to soak in the views... (Well, the views were obscured by the clouds though).. Anyway, pretty successful weekends.

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Spray Lake
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Spray Lake
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Trail breaking from beginning
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Trail breaking from beginning
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Me at treeline, it's very windy
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Me at treeline, it's very windy
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Looking back at the first bump
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Looking back at the first bump
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More and more bumps
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More and more bumps
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Looking back at another cornice
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Looking back at another cornice
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More cornices
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More cornices
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A major bump on the ridge
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A major bump on the ridge
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Spray Lake
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Spray Lake
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A bit of blue color shows up
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A bit of blue color shows up
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Spray Lake & Read's Tower
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Spray Lake & Read's Tower
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Dip down before false summit
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Dip down before false summit
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Mt. Buller
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Mt. Buller
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Finally summit is in sight
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Finally summit is in sight
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Read's Tower & Sparrowhawk
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Read's Tower & Sparrowhawk
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Sunlight shone on the lower ridge
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Sunlight shone on the lower ridge
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Almost at the summit
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Almost at the summit
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My backpack on the summit
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My backpack on the summit
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Looking East from the summit
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Looking East from the summit
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Looking SW from the summit
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Looking SW from the summit
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South End of Spray Lake
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South End of Spray Lake
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Nestor & Old Goat
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Nestor & Old Goat
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Read's Tower & Sparrowhawk
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Read's Tower & Sparrowhawk
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Me on Spray Lake
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Me on Spray Lake
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Me on Spray Lake
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Me on Spray Lake
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Impressive ice formation
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Impressive ice formation
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Photos taken by Steven