Third Time Lucky

Page Type
Trip Report
Location:
Alberta, Canada, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Jul 31, 2005
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Created On: Aug 3, 2005
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This was my third attempt of Storm Mountain. I was determined to conquer the peak this time--better third time lucky rather than three strikes and you're out.

During my first attempt on August 15, 2004, the mountain lived up to its name, throwing lightning and hail. Battered, I was forced to surrender a short way up the cirque.

My second attempt was October 6, 2004. This time, my partner and I aborted at the connecting ridge due to snow cover on the downsloping eastern ledge. Better to play it safe, especially when not carrying crampons or ice axes.

On my third attempt on July 31, 2005, there were two large, deep, and dangerous snow patches remaining from last winter on the ledge. These were slowly and carefully circumvented by moving along a narrow patch of dry ground above the cliff (don't look down).

After traversing the ledge and diagonally cutting up to the ridge top, the summit was gained at 6:50 p.m., some five hours after starting out. There was no summit log to be found, not that I looked too hard.

I crossed over the narrow notch and immediately started my descent down the west face, seemingly according to the diagram in Kane's Scrambles book. This was extremely steep terrain, beyond a moderate rating in my view. I failed to find much useful scree to speed my progress. Instead I was faced with smooth, downsloping slabs, often covered with rubble.

In hindsight, I believe that other parties have continued westward along the ridgetop beyond the notch before beginning their descent in earnest. I recommend that everyone else not follow my example and instead look for this safer way down!

I arrived back at my vehicle at 11:15 p.m. Having started at about 2:00 p.m., that made for a 9h15m trip.

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