Kiwetinok Peak (Little Yoho 4-Peak Circuit)

elevation: 2,902 m. height gain: 435 m. (from Kiwetinok Lake)
area: Yoho Park,BC map 82 N/10

Ref: Alan Kane's Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies
kiwetinok lake

The ice is breaking up on Kiwetinok Lake, The Presidents in the background.
Scramble: RT:14.0 (including Mounts Kerr, Pollinger and McArthur); 2.25 up from Lake Kiwetinok. I laughed, I cried... It was the best of times; it was the worst of times... This mountain worried me, I'm not a climber and I don't deal well with exposure; despite that, I was willing to give it a try. Gaining the col between Kiwetinok Peak and Mount Pollinger was the easy part. We dropped extra gear again and started up the snow slope. We didn't have crampons but the soft snow allowed us to kick decent steps, an alpine axe is a must! Once on rock, we climbed loose rubble along the snow until we reached a rockband; we started traversing from there. I didn't like the appearance of the terrain, Fab went ahead and I just stood there, frozen. He coaxed me to come along. I moved awkwardly even though I was focusing on nothing else than my footing. Fab kept moving along the ledges, looking for the easiest way. I wasn't comfortable with our situation and did consider turning around but Fab was levelheaded and felt he was on the right track. He recognized a slab corner from a picture on a recent trip report. After rounding up that corner, the terrain seemed to be less exposed. We occasionally saw cairns as we climbed towards the summit ridge. I was ecstatic to see the summit cairn! I managed to enjoy the view and the accomplishment, still nervous about our return. Fab signed the register and checked out a few names, Sonny Bou's limerick made us laugh! We grabbed a bite and started descending. We backtracked the upper part of the mountain without incident; Fab had placed flagging around some cairns to ease route finding (we retrieved them). We soon reached the slab corner and the ledges; I felt much better than I anticipated. Instead of going down the loose rubble to our earlier traverse on snow, Fab suggested going through a rock flake and stepping onto the snow sooner. At the snow's edge, we descended a bit before committing to the steep slope. Fab was stomping good footholds in the snow as he traversed closer to the middle of the slope, I was very aware of the steepness and the unfavorable run-out. I found it difficult as I jabbed my axe so deep with every couple of steps, I could barely get it out. I was mentally and physically fatigued... After what felt like an eternity, I turned around and boot skied down. I was happy, instant relief!

Note: Our route differs slightly from Alan Kane's description. We gained height then traversed climber's left as opposed to a climbing traverse lower down on the slope. Both routes appear to meet in the vicinity of the slab corner.

going up to the col

Making our way up to the col.

kiwetinok peak

Kiwetinok Peak.

hiking on rock

Using rock to reach the col.

where do we go?

It's hard to make out the route.

traversing on snow

Traversing to the rock ahead.

going up on loose terrain

Climbing to the loose slope along the snow.

looking down the loose slope

Looking down the loose slope.

traversing on ledges

Alright, lets give this a try!

fab has to coax me

Fab has to coax me along...

typical terrain

Loose exposed ledges lead to a "slab corner".

slab corner

Slab corner as seen on descent.

more ledges

Same type of terrain after the "slab corner".

the steepness decrease

The steepness decreases on the upper part of the route.

veering right

We veered climber's right (north) while climbing less exposed terrain.

summit ridge

I was ecstatic to see the summit cairn!

presidents and mount carnarvon

The President (left) and Mount Carnarvon (right).

i bloody made it

I bloody made it!!!

flags on cairns

Fab placed flags around some cairns to ease route finding on the way down.


The view and our position are exhilarating.

carefully making out way

Carefully making our way.

fab waits for me

Fab waits for me as we near the ledges.

slab corner

Going around the slab corner, yikes!

backtracking with flagged cairns

Backtracking with the help of flagged cairns is a great idea for such a scramble; we retrieved the flagging afterwards.

along the ledges

Along the loose ledges.

traversing on snow

Getting on the snow a bit higher, that was unnerving without crampons.

our route

We descended through a rock flake and skirted the edge of the snow before committing to the steep slope (lime). The red arrow indicates the slab corner.

another angle

Another angle clearly reveals the slab corner.

Continue on to Pollinger
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