East End of Rundle (Spring)

May 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Attempt date: April 29, 2012
Participants:  Jimmy Quigley, Rob Hick, Jeff Trudel, Patrick Latter

Weather conditions at base

Temperature

Minimum Temperature: -3.0 °C
Mean Temperature: 4.0 °C
Maximum Temperature 12.0 °C

Pressure and Dew Point

Mean Sea Level Pressure: 101.61 kPa
Mean Dew Point: -7.0 °C

Wind Speed and Gusts

Mean Wind Speed: 11.11 kmh
Maximum Sustained Wind Speed: 14.00 kmh
Maximum Wind Gust: 38.89 kmh

Directions

From Canmore follow the directions in town towards the ‘Nordic Center‘. Continue on around the reservoir and dam until you reach the ‘Goat Creek‘ trailhead parking lot. This is the same parking lot you would use for ‘Ha Ling Peak‘. Once parked, walk back up the road towards the town a few hundred meters and you will see some telephone poles on your left; begin your climb here.

Gear

  • Food
  • Water
  • Warm ski jacket
  • Warm fleece
  • Winter Hiking boots
  • Warm socks (or 2 layers of socks)
  • Poles
  • Toque
  • Thermal underwear
  • Gloves

Ascent 

I was away on business for 2 weeks and have just been busy in general, so it was nice to finally get out hiking again. We chose a mountain we knew would be light on snow at this time of year. The trail is visible from the road between two of the power lines and begins a long switchback up the mountain.

With the warm weather, it made finding the trail head easy with little to no snow at the base. This was my fourth time hiking East Side of Rundle and I had yet to see the view because of fog/whiteouts at the summit. With clear skies, it seemed like I may finally get to see the summit view. That changed only 35 minutes in, when rather ominous looking clouds began to roll in from the south and our hopes of a clear view at the top started to fade. It began to snow and the wind picked up, so we stopped to put on the layers of clothing we had shed earlier. Despite the storm like conditions we faced for the next 30 mins, it began to clear up and the sun came out again.

With about 200m to go, we came across a herd of mountain goats almost exactly where we had turned back in February due to bad weather. It was amazing how different the same area looked and felt compared to our last experience in February. The goats were suprisingly tame and did not retreat until we came quite close.

We followed the northern ridge all the way to the large boulder near the summit where it’s best to just circle around on the left than climb over it. From here it’s just some light scrambling and you’re at the top.

Jimmy and I crossed the ridge towards the southern peak to take some photos.

We all agreed that due to the current snow cover, climbing the secound peak would be too dangerous. We spent the next hour and half taking photos and having something to eat. We took a smallish break to have a mountain top knife fight.

As I was taking photos, everybody else began playing a makeshift game of bocce ball on the West face of the mountain. It was a steep snow covered drop from the top all the way to bottom. Everyone took turns throwing rocks at one that had stuck in the snow just 2 feet down the face. After the sun had set behind the mountain ridge we headed back down. We chose not to descend down the ridge we came up and instead follow the cliff bands south and zig zag down to what is normally a scree slope.

At this time of year it was snow covered and made for an easy and fun descent. With the snow covered slopes being so quick, we were at the bottom just as the last bit of light disappeared, with only the final 15 minutes requiring a head lamp.