Edith, Mount (3-Peak Traverse)

elevation: 2,554 m. height gain: 1,120 m.
area: Banff/Bow Valley,AB map 82 O/4

Ref: Alan Kane's Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies

At the trailhead.
Scramble: RT 10.5; 3.5 to North Peak (3.0 for the traverse). Fabrice was on vacation and the gorgeous weather persisted. I was very fortunate to be granted a midweek day off of work to go trekking. Fab had a special interest for this outing; personally, I was skeptical about making it to the south summit... We got an early start to beat the heat and minimize feeling pressed. The trail to Cory Pass is very good, we enjoyed the approach. From the pass, we veered towards our objective. A relatively short plod took us to the North Peak and its south facing gullies. The tight gully climber's right is great going up and down, especially for a small person; that was one of my favorite sections. Fab crossed the gap to reach the summit but I opted for the bypass. It was nice to reach the first peak and take a break before continuing. Mount Louis is stunning, it dominates the northern view. Mount Edith's remaining peaks are clearly in sight, so is the trail to Center Peak. Two routes lead to the top of the middle peak: the somewhat exposed trail climber's left of the ridge or the ridge crest. We chose to attempt the broken ridge. We worked our way up and left of the ridge until we found a crack to ascend. Then, we continued on the ridge until we got to a dip preceding the summit block (where the other way joins up). We stood on Center Peak after a quick, straightforward scramble. I started contemplating trying the South Peak; Fab was keen on giving it a try and I was wondering if I could reach the top. First, we had to make it down the steep descent gully safely. We came to a drop-off and went around skier's right; that was a bit sketchy... At the col between Center and South Peaks, we had another snack and I left my pack behind once again. I was curious to see the tunnel and I hoped to get to the flake. The tunnel is much bigger than we anticipated. Climbing it wasn't that difficult and I found it offered a sense of protection; another one of my favorite sections. The traverse on the ledges didn't require hands-on scrambling but the position is exhilarating; I nervously followed Fab. The flake is gained after ascending blocky terrain; at that point, my hands were a little tingly from breathing too fast. Fab calmly coaxed me to continue; thankfully, the flake was just ahead. It is an interesting feature; I didn't hesitate to clamber up and over to stand behind it. After reefing ourselves up at the other end of the flake, we stepped on the summit ridge and reached the top shortly thereafter. I was ecstatic, I never thought I would stand on this peak! It was hard to relax with the descent ahead but I managed to enjoy this fine summit visit. This is a great traverse with lots of scrambling and beautiful scenery of some familiar mountains.
leaving cory pass

We leave Cory Pass and head to Mount Edith's north peak.

nearing the north peak

Getting closer to the fun stuff!

south facing gullies

The south facing gullies; the one on the right is tight and amusing.

good grip

Very good grip on the walls.

short scramble

A short scramble after the gullies.

the gap

The gap is visible, just ahead of the north summit (right).

clearing the gap

Fab just cleared the gap.

bypassing the gap

I opted to bypass the gap.

at the top

Center and South Peaks from North Peak.

mount brewster

Mount Brewster to the north.

mount louis

Mount Louis is stunningly imposing!

leaving the top

Leaving the top, Fab decides to cross the gap again.

aiming for the bypass

I aim for the bypass instead.

scrambling to the gullies

Coming down the short scramble above the gullies.

traverse to center peak

A  little below the gullies, cairns indicate the traverse to Center Peak.

visible path

The trail is clearly visible.

we chose to travel on the ridge crest

We chose to scramble up the ridge instead of following the trail on the left.

looking back

Looking back towards North Peak.

scrambling to the ridge

Scrambling up to the ridge.

at the dip

At the dip with Center Peak in front of us.

center peak's descent gully

Looking down Center Peak's south (descent) gully.

short scramble to center peak

Making our way to the top.

at the top of center peak

At the top of Center Peak.

leaving center peak

Descending the short summit block.

descent gully

Heading to the descent gully.

coming to a drop-off

Coming to a drop-off.

south peak

Mount Edith's south peak.

infamous tunnel

Following Fab to the infamous tunnel.

more scrambling

Scrambling section before reaching the tunnel.

the tunnel

The tunnel with its humongous chokestone, fun bit!

traverse on ledges

The traverse to the flake on the ledges.

following the path and cairns

The trail can be picked out on the ledge, several cairns exist.

blocky terrain

Coming up blocky terrain.

almost at the flake

Almost at the flake.

the flake

The flake.

easy going

Easy going.

behind the flake

Behind the flake.

up and out of the flake

Fab about to reef himself up.

summit ridge

The summit ridge.

at the top

Mount Edith's south summit, sweeeeet!

mounts norquay and rundle

Mount Norquay and Mount Rundle on the right.

looking back towards mount louis

Another glimpse towards North/Center Peaks and Mount Louis (far right).

summit ridge from the top

The summit ridge from the top.

further down

Further down.

i'm thrilled

Quite thrilled about the feat! Now, I gotta make it down...

back at the flake

Back at the flake.

retracing our steps

Backtracking on the ledges.

center peak's descent gully

Another view of Center Peak's descent gully.

descending center-south peak's col

Descending from Center/South Peak's Col.

on a trail

A trail is discernible skier's right of the drainage from the col.

bow valley

The lovely Bow Valley.
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