Steven Song's Peak-bagging Journey

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Panorama Ridge

I went up Panorama Ridge via Kane's direction, so theoretically I didn't make to the true summit, which is 2km further south along the ridge. For the route up that peak, please see Marko's trip report.

On Sunday, I woke up in Banff, short on energy due to the tiring ascent of Mount Aylmer the day before. If this was my last day of the trip I could have pushed up on things like Mt Cory, or even Storm Mountain, but since I decided to stay few days longer, I chose a relatively easier objective, Panorama Ridge near Moraine Lake.

I was quite surprised that the parking lot wasn't full yet by 11AM. The day started by a visit of the Moraine Lake viewpoint. After taking some familiar photos I started the 3km hike on Consolation Lakes Trail. There were several groups of hikers on the trail helping to scary away the bears. Oh yeah, one important reason why I chose Panorama Ridge was, to get it done before the 4-person-restriction starts. This is another area subjected to a seasonal quota system. Soon I arrived at the outflow of Lower Consolation Lake. Kane says to cross the scream by logs or boulders. Oh man, it was more like a river now, 15m wide. This is my first time wading a river actually, and the water was pretty cold. The deepest part was thigh deep, thankfully the water wasn't flowing fast, or I would lost balance.

Once on the other side of the river, there's about 5min of bushwhacking waiting for me. I had to start yelling loudly here. Clearing the bush, I was facing the big gully, the real game of the day. This is a gully of more than 900m elevation gain, straight line up, with views slightly improving as you going up. It was already afternoon by the time I got to here and the temperature was approaching 30 degree. Under this condition, it was a real undertaking. There were avalanches on Mounts Temple, Fay, and Quadra, and they just sounded like thunders. Three features describe the view on this slope: Temple, Quadra, and Consolation Lakes, as they are the most eye-catching. Due to the sun and the tiring legs I had to take a break more often. Big boulder fields on the upper one third of the slope also slowed me down quite a bit as it requires consentration. I took more than 2 hours just to clear this gully...

Once topping out on the ridge, the views to Skoki area, Protection Mountain, and Castle Mountain suddenly open up. I had to traverse horizontally over big boulder fields to get to the summit. This part also took me quite a while. There's no register on the summit.

After admiring the views I retraced my steps down. I was thinking about doing the traverse to the true peak but I decided to go bag Tower of Babel instead so I didn't linger any longer on the summit. However, the descent went slow. The terrain is mostly boulders, rubbles, and dirt, with very few scree run. My knees hurt on this type of terrain. By the time I got down, I had very little motivation to continue to Tower of Babel, so I just boulder-hopped to the lake shore of lower Consolation Lakes for some photos, then walked leisurely back to my car. Round trip time 6.5 hours.

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Moraine Lake
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Moraine Lake
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Moraine Lake
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Moraine Lake
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Moraine Lake
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Moraine Lake
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5
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6
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Near Consolation Lakes
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Near Consolation Lakes
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Mt. Temple
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Mt. Temple
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Ford this outflow
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Ford this outflow
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Tower of Babel
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Tower of Babel
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11
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12
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Avalanche on Temple
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Avalanche on Temple
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Larch trees
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Larch trees
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Consolation Lakes
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Consolation Lakes
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Consolation Lakes
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Consolation Lakes
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Mount Temple
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Mount Temple
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Fay & Babel
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Fay & Babel
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Bident, Quadra, Fay
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Bident, Quadra, Fay
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The summit
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The summit
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21
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Upper Bow Valley
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Upper Bow Valley
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Skoki - Protection Mtn area
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Skoki - Protection Mtn area
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Bow Valley
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Bow Valley
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Quadra, Fay, Babel
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Quadra, Fay, Babel
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Ten Peaks Valley & Temple
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Ten Peaks Valley & Temple
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Cornices on the summit
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Cornices on the summit
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Pilot & Massive Range
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Pilot & Massive Range
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Castle Mountain
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Castle Mountain
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Douglas & St. Bride
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Douglas & St. Bride
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Hector
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Hector
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Richardson, Pika, Ptarmigan
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Richardson, Pika, Ptarmigan
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Hungabee Mountain
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Hungabee Mountain
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Deltaform Mountain
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Deltaform Mountain
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Tower of Babel
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Tower of Babel
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Bident & Quadra
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Bident & Quadra
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True summit of Panorama Ridge
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True summit of Panorama Ridge
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Storm Mountain
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Storm Mountain
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The big avalanche gully
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The big avalanche gully
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Looking back at Panorama Ridge
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Looking back at Panorama Ridge
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Consolation Lake
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Consolation Lake
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Consolation Lake
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Consolation Lake
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Tower of Babel
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Tower of Babel
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Photos taken by Steven