Girouard, Mount

elevation: 2,995 m. height gain: 1,600 m.
area: Banff/Bow Valley,AB map 82 O/3

Ref: Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association
colourful morning

Red sky at dawn, sailors be warned...
Scramble: RT 13.5; 7.0 up. When I lived in Banff and started scrambling in the early 90's, I never thought I would have the privilege of ascending this beautiful peak. Over the years, routes on non-Kane summits have been popping up on the internet and access to beta has broadened the selection of objectives. Since the Rambler's trip report, many scramblers followed suit; we planned to do just the same! With a decent forecast, we headed to Banff and parked at Johnson Lake. We left by daybreak and made good time on the trail around the lake. When we reached the bridge at the back of the lake, we beelined in the light timber towards the ascent drainage not even 500 meters away. In the drainage, we simply followed the path of least resistance, mostly climber's left of the creek; travel was tedious in places but not all that unpleasant. Further up the drainage, when we came to the split, we started to ascend the steep burnt-timbered slopes to the alpine basin. Our objective was now in sight. The mild dreary weather with the odd stint of drizzle had been tolerable so far but we were expecting windy sunny conditions... As we climbed the rubble towards the upper mountain, we heard voices; we counted six hearty souls making their journey up this somewhat remote peak. We continued to the top and waited for them to arrive. We had to put on all our layers, the wind was driving the rain through our clothing. We took some pictures but the view was greatly reduced. We greeted the scramblers as they arrived, they were with the Calgary Scrambling and Mountaineering Club. After a short summit stay, we headed down together. A short distance after the split in the drainage, they stopped to take a break while Fab and I carried on. The descent wasn't that fast but we managed to reach the Johnson Lake Trail before dark and had to get our headlamps out for that last easy stretch. We were surprised to see the group at their car, they had returned on the opposite side of the lake and apparently shaved a bit of time. We said our goodbyes and drove off our separate ways. About 5 minutes into the drive the rain intensified to a downright downpour; puddles were forming on the highway and hydroplaning was becoming a concern. It was raining so hard the wipers could barely keep up and I mentioned we should maybe pull over... It's never over until the fat lady sings and you're safely parked in your driveway!!!
following the drainage

Following the drainage for a while, easy but tedious at times.

typical terrain

Typical terrain.

boulders, rubble and deadfall

Boulders, rubble and some deadfall.

some good sections

Some sections are better!

skirting the side

Skirting the side 'cause we can't limbo that low.

at the split

At the split, this creek on the right hand side drains Mount Peechee.

ascending burnt-timbered slopes

We head up the burnt-timbered slope climber's left.

objective in view

The objective comes into view.

it's drizzling

It's drizzling and the ceiling is closing in on the summit.

nearing our goal

Nearing the objective.

alpine cirque

Beautiful alpine cirque and Mount Peechee.

using the grassy terrain

Ascending on grassy terrain.

scree ramp

The scree ramp leads to the summit slopes.

last stretch

Last stretch.

good footing

Fresh snow provided good footing.

looking back

Looking back towards the Bow Valley.

banff is visible

Banff is clearly visible, even on this day.

can't see lake minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka, not so much....

reaching the top

Reaching the top in the driving rain.

a group joins us

A group of scramblers join us at the summit.

heading down

Heading down.

crazy to see people today

We rarely see people... On a day like today, way out here, it's crazy!


Backtracking to the drainage.

head down and plod on

Head down and plod on!
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