Steven Song's Peak-bagging Journey

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Lipalian Mountain & Purple Peak

The temperature would drop to -10 degree at Lake Louise in the morning. Taking advantage of the spring snowpack, I decided to do another snowshoe trip, namely Purple Peak to Lipalian Mountain. This is also my first time in Skoki area. I parked at Fish Creek parking lot and slept in car the previous night. In the morning, I met two skiers at trail head. After talking to each other, I realized they are Golden Scramblers. We both know each other on internet, it's such a small world huh. They started about 15min ahead of me, heading to Unity Peak. At this time of year, Temple Lodge Road is snow free, so I can walk up easily the first 4km while carrying snowshoes. In no time I reached Larch / Ptarmigan Chair Lifts (Lk Louise ski area is already closed..). From there, the snowshoeing book says keep walking down the trail for about 1km then head right, but somehow I missed the correct trail and ended up in the valley bottom. For the next kilometer, I could not find any track heading to Wolverine Valley, and I was getting closer and closer to the lower slope of Redoubt Mountain. I thought Josee and his partner would be ahead of me because I didn't pass them on the way up. I started to realize my mistake, after checking the map, I decided to turn sharply right and bushwhack. 15min later, I found I was on the slope of Redoubt Mountain... To get to the bottom of Wolverine Valley, I had to lose about 30m elevation, but anyway, I got back on track. There is no steep section in the valley and it's a pleasant hike. Purple Peak lies in front of me, appears a rounded bump. Looking back, I could see Whitehorn Mountain and the ski runs. To my left is the impressive face of Redoubt Mountain. The route to Purple Peak is obvious. I still couldn't see Golden Scramblers at this point. To Purple, you can hike up either the north ridge or the east ridge, while both of them involves a short steep slope near the top. It took me 2.5 hours from parking lot to the summit. From the summit, Lipalian Mountain, my next objective of the day, partially blocks the view towards the Lake Louise Giants, but the view of Baker Creek area, Protection Mountain / Pulsatilla, and other mountains in Skoki is unlimited.

From the top of Purple Peak, Lipalian Mountain can be easily reached. However, you have to lose 50-100m elevation on the connecting ridge. I took 40min from Purple to Lipalian. From the summit, you gonna have unlimited view towards the continental divide, from Ball, Storm, to Bident, Quadra, Fay, Bowlen, Little, Deltaform, Hungabee, Lefroy, Victoria, to Bosworth, Daly and Balfour. In front of them is the biggest one, Mount Temple. Gosh, Temple looks really big from here, I started to wonder how did I manage to summit it and back within 7.5 hours in last September.

It was only 9:20AM, so that means I still had lots of time. I decided to traverse to Unity Peak. The first thing to do is to get back to Purple. From Purple Peak, I descent the ridge connecting Purple to Unity. From the col, the route described in Chic Scott's Summit and Icefields looks pretty avalanche prone, since I was soloing, I didn't want to take a chance, so I headed back down Purple Bowl. There're some steep slopes too. I knew Josee and his partner ascent Unity from an alternative route, and I started to look for their tracks. I could even here their voices up on the ridge, but I couldn't find any ski tracks, except for avalanche paths... I wouldn't want to solo any of those avalanche gullies anyway, plus I was already satisfied about summiting Purple & Lipalian (that means, lake of motivation), so I abandoned the idea of ascending Unity. Maybe I will come back to this area in summer to finish it. I took a long lunch break at treeline, and leisurely decent back to car. It's funny that I used 4 hours on the way down, but 3 hours 10 minutes on the way up... On the way back, I noticed there's even a ski run from parking lot to Temple Lodge, not just the road... Oh well, I'm getting familiar with this area anyway.

I went to Lake Louise lakeshore for some photographing. Even though it's off-season and it's Monday, Lake Louise is always busy... On the way back, I decided to take Bow Valley Parkway. I saw a grizzly bear on roadside and took some close photos on him...

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More of cornices
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More of cornices
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Mt. Victoria
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Mt. Victoria
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Mt. Temple
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Mt. Temple
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Mt. Temple
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Mt. Temple
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Wolverine Ridge
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Wolverine Ridge
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Purple Peak from Wolverine Valley
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Purple Peak from Wolverine Valley
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Redoubt Mountain
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Redoubt Mountain
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Redoubt Mountain
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Redoubt Mountain
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Fossil Mountain & Unity Peak
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Fossil Mountain & Unity Peak
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The purple color
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The purple color
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Protection Mountain
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Protection Mountain
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The Lake Louise Giants
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The Lake Louise Giants
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Looking up Bow Valley
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Looking up Bow Valley
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Richardson - Pika - Ptarmigan - Redoubt
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Richardson - Pika - Ptarmigan - Redo…
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Douglas - St. Bride - Bonnet Icefield Area
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Douglas - St. Bride - Bonnet Icefiel…
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Temple
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Temple
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Bident, Quadra, Fay
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Bident, Quadra, Fay
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Assiniboine in the distance
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Assiniboine in the distance
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Lefroy & Victoria
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Lefroy & Victoria
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Daly
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Daly
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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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Douglas, St. Bride
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Douglas, St. Bride
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Interesting cornices on the ridge
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Interesting cornices on the ridge
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Looking back at Lipalian
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Looking back at Lipalian
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Back to Purple Peak
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Back to Purple Peak
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Looking down Purple Bowl
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Looking down Purple Bowl
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Ridge connecting to Unity
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Ridge connecting to Unity
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Looking back at Purple Peak
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Looking back at Purple Peak
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Mt. Victoria rises behind Wolverine Ridge
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Mt. Victoria rises behind Wolverine …
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Purple Peak
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Purple Peak
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Looking down Wolverine Valley
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Looking down Wolverine Valley
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Whitehorn Mountain
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Whitehorn Mountain
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Temple Lodge
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Temple Lodge
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Temple Lodge
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Temple Lodge
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Temple Lodge Road
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Temple Lodge Road
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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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Lake Louise
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Lake Louise
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A grizzly bear
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A grizzly bear
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43
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44
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Photos taken by Steven