Stan Waters Peak (ExCoelis Mountain) GR:457653

elevation: 2,515 m. height gain: 1,175 m.
area: David Thompson Highway,AB map 83 C/1
2015-May-10


Ref: Eric Coulthart in the Canadian Rockies

Our route differs from the one Eric describes; from the Normandy-Ardennes Col, we traversed Stan Waters Peak's west slopes until we could easily climb to the summit.
trail junction
After the bridges, we take the trail on the left.
Scramble: RT 11.25; 6.0 up. Having just come here last week, we had good pictures of Stan Waters Peak and the current conditions; we had a good feeling about this trip. We planned to aim for the north-west drainage between Normandy and Ardennes as we had before and gain the col. We figured we could traverse on the drier west side; that way, we would avoid the snow-laden traverse on the east side of Stan Waters' summit ridge. To pick the best line, we had to be mindful of some bluffs while we contoured; we also tried to avoid soft snow in the trees. With decent terrain and manageable conditions, we crossed Normandy-Stan Waters' drainage and continued with our climbing traverse. At treeline, we noticed a mountain goat watching our progress. We ascended steep firm snow and circumvented the jagged summit ridge by trending towards the top. Once in sight, the summit is just a short distance away. We hung out at the top and watched the weather move in; it didn't look more threatening than any other trips we've done... After lingering for an hour and a half, we got up to leave. When I put my pack on, I felt like a bunch of army ants was biting my back; I dropped my pack and lifted my layers for Fab to examine me. Simultaneously, he said: "hey, listen to my axe... sounds like air is coming out of the shaft". That's when I put 2 and 2 together, we were getting electrified! I yelled at Fab to get the hell out of dodge as I started running with my pack in my hands. We'd come down about a hundred meters when the thunder clapped above our head; holy moly, that was close. We glissaded the major drainage between Stan Waters and Rhine. By the time we reached the creekbed below, the weather cleared. We carried on in the narrowing drainage, expecting to come to the drop Eric describes in his trip report. At the drop, which is the crux, I chose the easy way; I went as far as I could and simply slid down. Fabrice did not intend to get wet, he skillfully scrambled next to the waterslide. The enjoyable hike in that drainage leads to the Siffleur Trail. It was fantastic to follow it back while taking in the awesome sights. We're very thrilled about this trip and we feel rejuvenated and happy to be alive!!! start of drainage
The rubble that bleeds in the forest announces the drainage.
ascending the creekbed
Ascending the creekbed in the gully.
following last week's tracks
Following last week's tracks on the firm snow.
at the col
At the col, looking at Ardennes Peak.
traversing
Traversing towards our objective on dry terrain.
crossing the drainage
Losing height to cross the drainage between Normandy and Stan Waters Peaks.
climbing traverse
Climbing traverse on the west slopes of Stan Waters.
treeline
Treeline, we're getting closer.
firm snow
Ascending firm snow under the watchful eyes of a mountain goat.
more traversing
More traversing below the jagged summit ridge, the top is just ahead.
mountain goat
Stan Waters' ambassador.
final stretch
On the final stretch.
human antenna
Jojo, the human antenna.
register
Very official register.
rhine peak
Rhine Peak, the tallest of the 5-peak complex.
view west
Western view, now you see it...
zero visibility
... now you don't!
ominous weather
Ominous weather and snow squalls... just like on Mount Hensley.
zap!
Little did we know, we were just about to get electrified!
fast descent
Although I took the time to take a picture... we're getting the hell out of dodge!
alternate exit
Opting for an alternate exit.
glissading
Glissading all the way down.
looking back
Looking back as the weather clears, we're happy to be alive.
drainage is narrowing
The drainage between Rhine and Ardennes is closing in.
at the crux
At the crux; there's a piton climber's left to assist over the down-slopping slabs.
waterslide
After chucking my poles, I chose to slide down the natural waterslide.
looking at the crux
Fabrice went down climber's right along the waterslide.
luckily there's no ice
Luckily, there's no ice.
very scenic
Very scenic and enjoyable route.
low water level
The water level is manageable.
siffleur falls
Siffleur Falls.
enjoying the sights
Enjoying the sights on the way out.
our route
The route we followed.
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