Brachiopod to Anthozoan to Heather

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Brachiopod Mountain
  • Location: Banff National Park (Skoki)
  • Activity: Scrambling
  • Height: 2,660 m (8,727 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,450 m (4,757 ft)
  • Distance: 17.2 km / Loop (10.7 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 9.6°
  • Estimated Time: 7.5-10 hrs
  • Technicality: Expert.2a
  • Fitness Level: Hard
Above stats is from Sk5 Hidden Lake campground, and all 3 ridges combined.

The 3rd day at Skoki. The rest of people were little too tired to join this trip so Andrea and I left lazy hikers behind and went for a 3-ridge day. From Ptarmigan Lake, instead of going left, we went right side of the lake. The trail wasn’t as good trail as the left one, but still it was good enough. After the lake, we walked across few valleys which added up little more elevation gain, but it was fun to walk such beautiful place rather than staying lower part near the lake.

From the bottom of Brachiopod, the most logical way was to go up aiming the low point of the ridge then stay on ridge to get to the summit which what we did. However once we got on the ridge we found out that the route to summit was nothing can be rated easy as Kane’s book rates. It was difficult scramble and some exposure and not recommended to use our route if you are not comfortable doing difficult scramble. Me being such a hater or reading route descriptions, I didn’t read any but carefully guessing Kane’s and Bob Spirko’s route, I think their routes starts from different places, but both aim the same direction which is the slab slope directly below the summit unlike our route (page 5). After the surprise fun scramble we headed to south peak then descended. The scree on descent route was such nice scree it only took us 5 min to get down.

Kane’s ascent route to Anthozoan seems to aim middle of ridge but we decided to go up to the north peak and then take ridge to the true summit. Our route worked pretty good in my opinion. Unlike Brachiopod’s descent route, rocks on this ascent route was solid rubbles which helped to go up. Once on the ridge it was easy ridge walk to the true summit. From summit we could have started descent but going to Heather Ridge on mind, it was better to trackback the ridge closer to the north summit. This way we could save some elevation when get down to the valley.

On Heather Ridge, we had 2 choices, either to go straight up or go around rough part of east face of Heather ridge. I insisted to go up straight but Andrea threatened me that she would hit me with her green monster, Hulk umbrella, I had no choice but to follow her route. Just like other 2 ridges. Going up was pretty much hiking. Two things we were quite amazed with this ridge. One is the type of rocks we could found. There were so many different rocks in one place. The other was the ridge. West side of the ridge became suddenly widened up roughly 50 to 100 m wide and many pinnacles stood up like fallen skyscrapers in movie scenes. I have to say Heather Ridge was one of the most unique peak I have done. I know Kane had a bad ending with his ex-girlfriend Heather, but that doesn’t mean he should ignore Heather Ridge. From west side of the ridge all the way down to the bottom was all boulder fields and it was green rocks. I highly recommend doing Heather only if it is dry condition otherwise green rocks can be too slippery when wet.

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Morning huddle.

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Boulder field below Heather Ridge.

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Nice panorama showing all 3 ridges. Mouseover for names.

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Red line is our route where we aimed the low point of the ridge but had to face difficult scramble. Kane's slab route is orange line I believe.

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Going up. Such low elevation gain, didn't take much to get to the ridge top.

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I thought this was supposed to be an easy scramble ( ̄ロ ̄lll)

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Let's the fun begin!!

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Almost to the summit.

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Down climbing the same way we came up.

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Looking back the summit from south side. Look intimidating.

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Nice and soft scree!

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Anthozoan Mountain
  • Location: Banff National Park (Skoki)
  • Activity: Scrambling
  • Height: 2,695 m (8,842 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,450 m (4,757 ft)
  • Distance: 17.2 km / Loop (10.7 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 9.6°
  • Estimated Time: 7.5-10 hrs
  • Technicality: Intermediate
  • Fitness Level: Hard
Rubble rubble.

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Brachiopod from Anthozoan… Couldn't they come up with easier names…? Look at my name, "So"!! S and O. It can't be any simpler!!

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A fossil of Sasquatch foot.

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Nice ridge, about 1.1 km long. (Not nice at all for the ridgewalker, Mark's standard, but I like it)

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Closer to the summit.

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There wasn't much elevation difference from west valley but it drops much more on east side valley.

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Andrea dear to stand on cornice.

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At windy cold summit.

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Valley of the Ten Peaks and Mount Temple. How big Temple is compared to others. Mouseover!!

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Group shot. Andrea and Me.

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Heather Ridge
  • Location: Banff National Park (Skoki)
  • Activity: Scrambling
  • Height: 2,640 m (8,662 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,450 m (4,757 ft)
  • Distance: 17.2 km / Loop (10.7 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 9.6°
  • Estimated Time: 7.5-10 hrs
  • Technicality: Intermediate
  • Fitness Level: Hard
The last objective of the day, Heather Ridge.

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Already the highest point of the ridge. Ridge on the left of this picture is still Heather Ridge.

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Reminds me of the movie "I am Legend" because of how boulders and pinnacles look similar to a destroyed city.

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More pinnacles.

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Redoubt Mountain and Redoubt Lake. I can see why someone named this "redoubt".

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Descending the boulder field.

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On the way back to the campsite, sun came out.


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