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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