Steven Song's Peak-bagging Journey

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Rimwall

On the way down Windtower, we studied the route up Rimwall. Because we are confident scramblers, we didn't want to lose too much elevation to traverse around the rock band, following Kane's direction. From distance, it looks there might be a treed ledge runs diagonally across the bands. We wanted to try this route.

Not far up, we encountered the first difficult section, a 3m rock band. This provided a good warm up for the later use. Soon we saw two scramblers ahead of us, who were willing to attempt the treed ledge as well. Catching up them, we found out they were from Calgary. The ledge was mildly exposed, and 5 of us didn't have problem to traverse it. At this point, we had a high hope that this route would work. However, soon after traversing around the ledge, a big wall appears in front of us... It's about 15m high, with no apparent ledge or weakness.

Since we already reached this point, we didn't want to turn around unless it's practically impossible. Well, it's only 15m high though. Even if it's a lower 5th class rock climb, I would rather solo it then turn around. None of us brought helmet so at the base of the band, we each took a different line up. Andrea took the rightmost line, while Neil descent slightly towards left and found a way on that side. I took the most direct line which is a crack. The crack it self is climber's scramble, with generally solid holds. Due to the potential fatal consequence if I fell, I tested every hold before grabbing of stepping on. At the top of the crack, I had to traverse slight right with very small holds on solid rock, followed by a friction move to get through. This part is definitely a 5th class terrain. I felt more like doing bouldering in gym on vertical wall, except for no protection and questionable rock quality. I can't command on Neil and Andrea's route. Andrea's route might be the easiest as she topped out the first. The two Calgarians traversed further right but we never saw them after the rock band, so I'm assuming they didn't make it through.

We all relieved after finishing this section, but what was waiting for us was, a long tedious rubble slog and side sloping. The brisk sized rock is the worst type. You gonna be patience here. After a long slog we crossed the alternate descending gully, and after that, the rock quality improved dramatically. However, looking back, we could see a storm was coming in. The summit was already soaked in. We tried to beat the rain, but looks like it gonna beat us. 10min later, we were in a white out, and surprisingly what was felling on us was snow, not rain. There are several 2m rock bands on the summit ridge, but nothing tricky. Another 10min later we were standing on the summit. Now, the miracle happened. The sky started to clear and the layered clouds added drastically to the view. There was no summit register and we did a long summit stay before heading down. We talked about the Gap to Fable traverse and we all agreed to do the ridge both way to avoid the tedious creek bed walk.

On the way down, we took the scree ski route, which was just like the scree on Yamuska. At the treeline, the terrain got slabby and the gully soon narrows to a canyon. It reminds Neil about Isabelle Peak, and it reminds me about the false fault in Jura Creek. There's a 15m water fall that has to be skirted around in the trees on the left side. If wet, don't venture too close to the edge, as only friction grabs you. If you slip, there's nothing to stop you. Lower down, there are more interesting rock formation in the canyon, and it's much fun than simply bushwhacking in the trees. At the bottom, the canyon disappears into thick forest, and we lost sight to each other. I was falling a bit behind since I wasted too much time taking pictures so I thought they must be far ahead of me, and I speeded up in the forest to try catching them. About a few hundred meters later, I reached the road. Walking back to car, I didn't find them. I thought they might went to lake shore for views so I walked down to Spray Lake and still didn't find them... Damn... I though there must be something happened to them, as it makes no sense to take that long to descent. I walked back again and shouting, and thankfully they soon appeared. There was nothing happened and in fact, after we lost each other, Neil went back to the canyon to see if I was still there, so that's why it took them that long to get through the forest.

On the way walking back to car, we got showered. Perfect timing! Overall, a good two-peak-day under questionable weather forecast, with great companies.

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Photos taken by Steven