Dolomite Peak

elevation: 2,998 m. height gain: 1,100 m.
area: Icefields Parkway,AB map 82 N/9
2009-Jul-23


Ref: Alan Kane's Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies
from the car


Orangey sky early morning, towards Mount Hector.
Scramble: RT 8.0; 4.0 up. This scramble does not disappoint, it ranks high in my favorites. Dolomite is castellated with impressive towers, the fourth being the highest. The ascent appears intricate and somewhat intimidating. We researched it plenty before heading out and found our way to the summit no problem. On a weekday, we had the upper mountain to ourselves, which minimized rock fall hazard, and an early start provided a shaded ascent to the top of the gully. Still in the car, while putting my boots on, I noticed a black wolf. Fab picked up the camera and started filming. As he wandered on our side of the highway, three other wolves followed. Wolf video. Wow, it's an amazing feeling watching these long-legged canines trot along the calm road... The pleasant trail grants a quick approach to the treed rib. The lower gully is quite fun; the little ledges are like stairs and easily lead to the narrower section. Indeed, the gully is steep; a couple of small rockbands require some hands-on scrambling, but holds are plentiful. The wall in the scree filled upper gully turned out to be quite helpful up and down. We continued past the "shark's fin" almost to the saddle where we noticed a nice ledge dotted by cairns (a few variations exist). The last stretch of solid, easy rock offers more hands-on. The lack of airiness helped me focus on the climb and allowed me to find it quite delightful! Soon on the summit ridge, we casually walked to the top. We took advantage of the calm wind and warm weather to fully enjoy the view with a lengthy stay. The orange hazy sky from the forest fires filtered a bit of sunlight and added a different atmosphere. We omitted the ascent of tower three; I most likely would have needed to be roped up. With carefully placed feet, our way down went well but it was difficult not to kick rocks down. We kept going down the 3-4 gully in good scree. After going around a headwall (climber's left), we reached treeline and continued our descent aiming for the ascent treed rib. From there we quickly reached the trail.
our ascent

Leaving the trail to ascend the treed rib.

at treeline

Quickly beyond treeline.

peaks one to five

Towers one to five (left to right).

traverse to ascent gully


Traversing to the gully between towers three and four.


lower gully


Little ledges are like going up stairs.


nearing upper gully


Narrowing ascent gully.


looking down


Looking back helps recognizing the way upon return.


upper gully


Scree filled upper gully, the wall offers good assistance.


shark's fin


The "shark's fin".


ledges


Traversing to the final section.


before summit ridge


All right, I can do this!


poser


Fab leading the way.


at the summit ridge


Mount Hector from the summit ridge.


summit ahead


Summit ridge.


summit ridge


Quite thrilled to be here.


smoky summit


Standing on the highest point.


ska summit


There is a sheer drop behind.


peak three


Tower three's scramble is more exposed.


eastern view


Looking east over North Molar Pass and Fish Lakes.


short-cut!!!


Fastest way down, no thanks!!!


wapta


Familiar mountains of the Wapta Icefield.


jotting a note


Adding our names to the register.


heading down


Heading back down.


tricky


First of a few downclimbs.


traverse to upper gully


Follow the cairns back to the gully.


using the wall


This part is quite manageable along the wall.


lower gully


Coming out of the upper gully.


typical terrain


Enjoyable scrambling indeed.


great outing


Looking back up from the alternate descent.
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