Unity Peak GR:643993

elevation: 2,641 m. height gain: 965 m.
area: Lake Louise,AB map 82 N/8
2012-May-07


Via Wolverine Valley. Ascend south-west slopes to Unity Peak's north-west ridge. The ridge is easily followed to the top.
ski-out


Up the thinning ski-out.
Ski touring: RT 8.0; 4.5 up. We took advantage of a good overnight freeze for this objective. Instead of following the normal ascent route up the east ridge of Unity, we planned a direct ascent up the steep south-west facing slopes to gain the north-west ridge. We met a young scrambler at the trailhead; after a short conversation, I figured (from Clubtread posts) that it was Steven Song; his goal was to snowshoe to Lipalian Mountain. Fab and I set off on skis up the thinning ski-out, we reached Skoki trail in good time and veered towards Wolverine Valley shortly thereafter. Travel was good on the very firm snow. Our ascent slope was still shaded as we neared it; with minimal avalanche concern, we climbed as high as we could on skis then we put on crampons. Leaving the skis behind, we continued straight up. The part of the slope we were on had previously slid, the snowpack wasn't very deep but it was firm throughout. After a good grunt, we traversed towards the ascent ridge. A short walk on the broad ridge leads to the summit block, which is easily surmounted. I stood on the tallest boulder while Fab took some pictures. After reading the fixed plaque, we had lunch. The view is spectacular, we were lucky to be out on a bluebird day. The wind was calm and the air was warming quickly, hence we reluctantly left the top to be off the steep slope early. On the way down, the snow had already softened a little. We had an awesome glissade back to our skis and a decent couple of turns to valley bottom. From there, we lollygagged back to the car.
nearing skoki trail

Nearing Skoki trail, past the cabin and up to the right.

wolverine valley

Wolverine Valley and Unity Peak.

planned ascent

Our planned route ahead.

leaving skis for crampons

Here, we exchange skis for crampons.

very firm snow

Crampons work great on the very firm snow.

straight up

Continuing straight up.

quite steep

These slopes are quite steep.

north-west ridge


North-west ridge of Unity Peak.


looking back


Looking back down Wolverine Valley.


getting closer


Getting closer.


summit block


Going around the summit block, I'm barely visible.


at the top


Posing on the highpoint.


ska fab


Ska Fab on the plaqued boulder.


protection mountain


Protection Mountain.


heading back


Reluctantly leaving the summit.


redoubt mountain


Redoubt Mountain.


traversing


Traversing back to our ascent slope.


wolverine ridge


Wolverine Ridge grants good yo-yo skiing.


great glissade


Alpine axe out for a great glissade.


skiing down


Fab skis to valley bottom.


our route


Our route.
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