Steven Song's Peak-bagging Journey

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Mount Whyte

Due to the big plan on Saturday, I decided to either rest or do a short objective on Friday. My original plan was Mount Jimmy Simpson but as I drove west towards Lake Louise, I decided to change my plan to Mount Whyte as I wanted more scrambling. I gave my mom a call for the last minute change of plan, just in case I got injured and couldn't walk down...

I did Mount Niblock less than a month ago, so I had all of the fresh memories regarding the entire route. I don't want to describe the approach for too much, as everyone who can walk should be able to make to Lake Agnes Tea House without problem...

This was my 4th time at Lake Agnes, and the first time getting bluebird sky. Before venturing onto the boulder field at the west end, look for a faint trail going into the trees. Take it and follow it to the base of rock pile, trudge up the rock pile to the first rock band.

The rock band involves 3-4 of 5m moderate climb. If wet, then use caution. I recommend you to put on your helmet at this point. Follow the cairns and path up the next rock band by traversing towards climber's left, and the trudge up loose terrain to gain Niblock - Whyte col. Looking back you'll see the different colors of Lake Louise and Lake Agnes. In between them is The Beehive. You can call it a summit if you want. Once at the col, you'll be amazed by the view towards Yoho side.

To get to Whyte, descent a short distance while following the connecting ridge all the way to the base of Mt Whyte, where you'll be blocked by a short wall. Traverse climber's right for 10m then you'll spot a line regaining the ridge. Look for cairns here. Follow the ridge up, shortly after you'll see a beaten path traversing climber's left horizontally. Follow this path to the obvious loose down-sloping gully that Kane warns not to get into. Climb up the moderate but loose terrain on the climber's right side of this gully, then get into the gully at the very top part, get over a short col, drop down the other side. Now, traverse on beaten path for 20m towards the crux.

Looking for cairns near the crux. You'll encounter a similar col as the one you've just done, do not drop down the other side, instead climb straight up the steep wall to re-gain the ridge crest. This is the crux. The terrain is also loose so use caution, especially when soloing. I think this part is easy side of difficult, but you have to do a good amount of hands-on work on this mountain.

After the crux, balance over a 2m exposed ridge section, follow the ridge up. At the next wall, traverse again on climber's right on beaten path. As soon as you can spot easier terrain to re-gain the ridge, go up climber's left to re-gain ridge crest. There's a not-so-obvious gully which is the easiest line (I used it on the way down, but I used the rock on the way up). Follow the ridge up again, circumventing several pinnacles, usually on climber's left. A short upper moderate section leads you to the summit.

There's nothing to rush, and I took my time on the way down the loose terrain. Once back to the col, I decided not to do Mount Niblock as I've already done it. Because of the big traverse plan the next day, I had to save as much energy as I could. From the col down, it was easy to lose the path. Look for cairns. But with the basic sense of route-finding, it won't be an issue. Again, if not because of the plan on Saturday, I should have done Devil's Thumb to finish my Lake Agnes area considering the weather, but obviously this wasn't a smart idea for this day. I leisurely walked back to car, and drove to Canmore.

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Lake Agnes & Louise
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Lake Agnes & Louise
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Lake Louise
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Lake Louise
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Lake Louise
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Lake Louise
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Mount Victoria
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Mount Victoria
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Mt. Whyte & Big Beehive
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Mt. Whyte & Big Beehive
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Big Beehive
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Big Beehive
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Mirror Lake
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Mirror Lake
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Mirror Lake
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Mirror Lake
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9
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes & Mt. Whyte
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Lake Agnes & Mt. Whyte
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes
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The lower scree cone
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The lower scree cone
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The waterfall rock band
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The waterfall rock band
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Mount St. Piran
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Mount St. Piran
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Upper bowl and Niblock
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Upper bowl and Niblock
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Mount Whyte
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Mount Whyte
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Mount Victoria
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Mount Victoria
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Mount Niblock
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Mount Niblock
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Mount Niblock
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Mount Niblock
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Typical terrain up Whyte
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Typical terrain up Whyte
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The crux
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The crux
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Bow Valley
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Bow Valley
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Temple to Lefroy
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Temple to Lefroy
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Victoria
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Victoria
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Yoho peaks and The Wapta
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Yoho peaks and The Wapta
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Hector and Skoki area
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Hector and Skoki area
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Mount Temple
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Mount Temple
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The Mitre & Mt. Lefroy
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The Mitre & Mt. Lefroy
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The Death Trap
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The Death Trap
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Mount Victoria
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Mount Victoria
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Collie & Popes Peaks
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Collie & Popes Peaks
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The Presidents
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The Presidents
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Balfour and Daly
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Balfour and Daly
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Mount Hector
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Mount Hector
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Pipestone and Skoki areas
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Pipestone and Skoki areas
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Castle Mountain
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Castle Mountain
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Hector and Niblock
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Hector and Niblock
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The ski route up Niblock
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The ski route up Niblock
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A fractured section of the glacier
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A fractured section of the glacier
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43
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Mount St. Piran
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Mount St. Piran
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Lake Agnes & Louise
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Lake Agnes & Louise
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46
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The waterfall rock band
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The waterfall rock band
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Mount St. Piran
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Mount St. Piran
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes & Teahouse
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Lake Agnes & Teahouse
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Paintbrush
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Paintbrush
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes
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Lake Agnes Teahouse
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Lake Agnes Teahouse
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Lake Louise
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Lake Louise
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Photos taken by Steven