Little Lougheed III – January 2, 2006

Mountain height:   2,483 m (8,144 feet)
Elevation gain:      778 m
Ascent time:          2:15
Descent time:        2:00

Scrambling with Bob, Dinah, Raff, Frank, Pete, Vitto, Kelly, Jason, and JP.

Admittedly, my primary motivation for participating in this group scramble was to finally meet some of the newer members of the unofficial RMB scramblers and I wasn’t expecting too much from the actual scramble, since I had already visited the summit of Little Lougheed in 2004. As luck would have it, not only did I get to enjoy the company of nine terrific scramblers, but the scramble was excellent and the scenery spectacular.

Bob and Dinah organized the trip and with a terrific turn-out of ten eager participants, we started up the diminutive, but very interesting outlier of Mount Lougheed . The ascent went remarkably fast, as we gabbed about mountains we’d done and mountains we’d like to do – there’s nothing like “mountain talk”!

Once out of the trees, we were greeted by a spectacular view of Old Goat Mountain and Mount Nestor – one poor soul of the group received numerous reminders from other group members of how it had taken him (or her) five attempts to reach the summit of easy Mount Nestor – I won’t mention any names, but I think those members should all buy him (her) a beer for his (her) persistence.

Continuing on, we reached the very interesting boulder field and carefully made our way through the snow-covered and therefore tricky terrain. We decided to bypass much of the field on the right side. Probably the most exciting part of the scramble occurred when our quiet conversation was abruptly interrupted by a thunderous crack, as a huge cornice failed on the summit ridge of Mount Sparrowhawk . We all looked over to see an enormous mass of snow plummeting down the side of the mountain. It hit the valley bottom and then actually crawled up the side of Little Lougheed, some distance away - a spectacular demonstration of nature’s awesome power that we all considered ourselves extremely luck to witness (from the opposite side of the valley, of course!).

Above the treeline, we finally stepped into the warming rays of the sun and more terrific scenery. The best visuals of the day suddenly came into view, as we gained the left side of the ascent slope: the enormous mass of Mount Lougheed , plastered in snow, with nothing but clear blue sky above – absolutely stunning! A short distance further and we all arrived at the summit. A brisk wind chilled the air around us, however, everyone was more than thrilled with the summit panorama and we took an extended break to enjoy its awesome beauty.          

For the descent, we opted to go right through the boulder field for another wonderfully interesting and thrilling diversion. Travel was slow, the snow hiding many dangerous holes, but fabulous scenes of innumerable car-sized boulders strewn haphazardly across the terrain was a fitting end to a terrific trip. Great company, great weather, great scrambling – thank you to all.

P.S. Rumor has it, the poor soul likes Moosehead beer.       

Mount Nestor (left) and Old Goat Mountain, from above the boulder field


Old Goat Mountain


Spray Lake, Nestor, Old Goat, and Mount Shark at the far left


The 2nd peak of Mount Lougheed


A tremendous cornice crashes down Mount Sparrowhawk


Four members of the group make the final push to the summit 


Almost there


Mount Lougheed through the gap


Bob, a little below the summit, checks out the 2nd and highest peak of Mount Lougheed


Kelly, JP, Pete, Frank, and Vitto chow down at the summit, with the 1st peak of Lougheed in the background


The spectacular 1st peak of Lougheed


Same as above


A closer look at the 1st peak


Jason checks out the 2nd peak


Bob, Dinah, JP, and Kelly start down; Big Sister (left) and Rimwall behind


Raff approaches the boulder field


Bob bags another summit on the way down


Spray Lake, Big Sister, and Rimwall

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