Mount Carnarvon | 2010.07.18

Mount Carnarvon
  • Location: Yoho National Park
  • Activity: Scrambling
  • Height: 3,040 m (9,974 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,775 m (5,824 ft)
  • Distance: 18.1 km / Loop (11.2 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 11.1°
  • Estimated Time: 8-11 hrs
  • Technicality: Expert.3b
  • Fitness Level: Athlete

Second day in Yoho, the organizer of this trip Andrea unfortunately had to go back to city, so three boys car camped for Sunday scramble at Mount Carnarvon.

We parked our car at Emerald Lake Lodge parking lot. The trailhead of Hamilton Lake trail locates the south end of the parking lot. This trail was rather boring and steep 5.5 km hike. However just before arriving to the lake, the view opened up and I had a good look at Hanbury Glacier and Mount Goodsir. Hamilton Lake was small but very pretty lake and it is a nice idea to take a break there.

The normal ascent route was to go up gentle hill and get up south end of Carnarvon’s shoulder. But but but, our safety lady, Andrea not present, bad boys gone WILD!! Just like the old time, we ignored trails and descriptions; we went for SCRAMBLE route, “the proper way”!! Bad boy bad boy, what'cha gonna do? So we aimed the middle of the shoulder and scrambled up (page 9). Once on the ridge, we followed Kane’s route for a while. About mid way to the summit we came across a rockband. I believe Bob and Nugara went left for 50 to 100 m to avoid the band. Use ledges to traverse and look for cairns. We went right instead and found a chimney, “the proper way”, I thought but by carefully studying Kane’s route line, even though he doesn’t mention anything about this but the line seems to go through this chimney. Actual elevation on this chimney was probably less than 10 m, but this chimney is defiantly difficult scramble (my buddies think it’s climber’s), and the exposure was massive. That was deja-vu of the 1st chimney at Mount Smuts by looking down (page 17). After the band, there were waves of easy/moderate/difficult scrambles (mostly easy or moderate). Here is what I just found out and don’t understand Kane’s route. He says must traverse left 75 to 100 m and ascend gullies to overcome another and more serious walls near summit. I am pretty sure this is what we did too but his line in the book seems to go right instead…? At the cliff, we traversed to left by doing so , we had to face snow gullies which also Kane warns (page 20). After safely traversing the snow gullies, we followed cairns which lead us to exposed ledges to another and steeper gully which was unavoidable exposed and difficult scramble that everyone has to go through (page 23). Good news (or bad news) this will the last scramble on this mountain. The gully lead us south end of summit ridge. From there simply walk to the summit.

I found Carnarvon as the same class as Mount Fox despite Nugara says he thought nothing more than moderate.

Overall I had the best weekend in 2010 so far. The last time I had such weekend was 2009 when I did Lougheed 3 peaks and Fox. I spent 22 hours scrambling… I have to say I must try harder though. Nugara spends 22.5 hours a day scrambling (humanly impossible!).

* Grid References (GR) is based on WGS84 which can be considered as NAD83 (The difference is inciginificant)


Adrian C | 2011.07.31 11:18:33
I agree with the challenge of the scrambles, it's a fine 600meters in length, one thing I didn't like was the ammount of seriously large rocks and boulders ready to be released; for that matter the gullies are to be avoided, they're hazard to the extreme.
At the above link, I've zoomed on many peaks from the summit

P.S. Hilarious! I didn't believe porcupines being this active in the area.
Myself and Serghey from Kazakhstan decided to take chances and leave our approach runners and his bear spray on a big flat rock. Guess whose stuff didn't got chewed up? Tip my footwear arre synthetic

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