White Pyramid

elevation: 3,275 m. height gain: 1,650 m.
area: Icefields Parkway,AB map 82 N/15
2011-Mar-27


Ref: Chic Scott's Summits and Icefields epaulette lake
Epaulette Lake.
Ski mountaineering: RT 11.0; 6.5 up. This was an extraordinary trip. We possibly had the best conditions; a stable snowpack, no previous wind events and great weather. Our very good friend Ev was in town after a while abroad; this was her first outing this season. We met in Lake Louise at 5 AM and drove out in her truck. We parked in a plowed slot a little past the recommended grid reference, 216482. Prepared with knowledge of recent trips, we walked down the highway looking for the up-track. Once near the suggested start, we decided to head in, confident we would soon find it; we did. The good up-track led us to Epaulette Lake nicely. Although we had to drop down to the lake, the advantage of the track outweighed the height loss. The route to the col is awesome. We had good snow coverage that progressively got deeper (mid boot) and remained light. The narrow north facing draw is sheltered and receives little sun at this time of the year. However, we were mindful of some big overhanging cornices. After leaving our skis and kicking steps to the col, we were greeted by superb views to the south. We proceeded on the ridge taking turns at breaking trail. By now we were quite tired. On the false summit, we felt optimistic. The pyramid was within reach! We pushed on to the top in good spirits. We were able to enjoy the lofty viewpoint despite the clouds that occasionally engulfed us. Very thrilled about the accomplishment, we savored the moment. Coming down was fast. Unfortunately, as we went, so did the good light. Once on our skis, we readied ourselves for a very long run. The skiing was excellent all the way down to the moraines, even with flat light. That was such a treat. At the lake, we decided to go past the up-track and follow Epaulette Creek down. That turned out great (thanks to Rocky Mountain Ramblers for their recent trip report). The rollercoaster run was continuous and delivered us all the way down to the frozen river. Ev and I had great fun skiing down with burning legs, nearly out of control and yelling like banshees! I have to say, this was the cherry on top of the cake. I'm very thankful for this memorable trip with my best friend Ev. epaulette creek
Following Epaulette Creek.
nearing the moraines
Nearing the moraines.
access to upper draw
This steep slope gives way to the upper draw.
upper draw
The upper draw.
looking back
Looking back, Mount Murchison in the background.
back of the draw
Nearing the back of the draw.
gaining height quickly
Looking back again, gaining height quickly.
switchbacks begin
The grade steepens.
steep
Last bit before we take our skis off.
excellent ski down
This sheltered draw will provide an excellent ski down.
reaching the col
Kicking steps to the col.
impressive slope
Impressive slope.
ascent ridge
The ascent ridge from the col.
ridge
Travel is manageable and pleasant.
spectacular sights
Spectacular sights to the west with Mount Forbes in the distance.
howse peak
Howse Peak.
summit in sight
The sub peak and true summit come into view.
sub peak ahead
Nearing the sub peak.
ascending the sub peak
Ascending the sub peak.
the notch
The notch interrupts the summit ridge.
up the notch
Up the notch easily.
summit ahead
The true summit is within reach!
last bit
Final pitch to the top of the pyramid.
bff on pyramid
Ev and I at the top, yahooooooooooo.
egyptians at the top
Just like an Egyptian...
alpine route
The alpine route down to the Chephren/White Pyramid Col.
chephren
Mount Chephren.
ascent ridge
The ascent ridge from the top.
heading down
After a fine half hour break, we head back down.
occasional high clouds
Occasionally, high clouds obscure the view.
at the notch
Down the notch.
sub peak
Retracing our steps to the sub peak.
nearing the col
Nearing the col and our skis.
from the road
Mount Chephren and White Pyramid from the highway.
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