May 15, 2016
Mountain height: 2874 m
Elevation gain: 1400 m
Ascent time: 4:30
Descent time: 2:50
Scrambling with Raff, Marta, Connor, Josée and Fabrice.
What a fantastic day with awesome people! After failing to reach the summit of Chimper Peak a week earlier, I returned to complete the task with Raff. Little did I know that Raff would be surprising me with more company than just himself. At the meeting spot, I was very pleasantly surprised to be reunited with Marta and then to be introduced to the fine, young up-and-coming scrambler/climber/mountaineer Connor Young (CL Young on Facebook).
Arriving at the Marble Canyon parking lot, I was even more surprised to find Josée and Fabrice, of goldenscrambles.ca fame, waiting for us. I’ve been wanting to meet the dynamic couple for years and it truly was an honour to finally shake their hands (Josée actually got a hug!).
It took us an hour, along Tokumm Creek Trail to reach the start of the ascent. In that time, I had the great opportunity to get to know Josée, Fabrice and Connor. Once we started up the ascent slope, I was too winded to talk!Atop the avalanche slope, the scenery opened up to reveal a magnificent cirque, surrounded by steep walls of beautiful rock. The clear blue sky above and a decent amount of snow on the slopes helped to make it one of the best views of the day.
Things only got better as Raff led the way, kick-stepping up the firm snow. Suddenly, a dramatic view of Foster Peak was revealed to the south. Higher up, rock bands covered in ice, but with water running below the surface became another cool point of interest. And thank God the scenery was awesome, because the long slog up, in dramatically increasing heat was grueling (as least for me – my "in-much-better-physical-condition" companions seemed to glide up the mountain effortlessly!).
The last section was more tedious, up steep rubble and boulders, but we soon reached the summit ridge and a fantastic view in all directions. A short plod followed and then a multitude of summit high-fives were exchanged. In addition to the south faces of many of the mountains of The Valley of the Ten Peaks, all the Kane scrambles of Highway 93 were clearly visible and a great view east, emphasizing the immense length of Castle Mountain.
Our summit stay was long and awesome – sweet views, no wind, blue skies, and a ton of photo ops with my new friends and some slightly older ones (but mostly with the cool snowman Josée built atop the cairn)! In that time, there was much discussion about a potential name for this peak – “Tokumm Creek Peak”, “Mount Whympy” were tossed about, but when Fabrice came up with Chimper Peak (the mountain sits between Chimney Peak and Mount Whymper), we all laughed and immediately agreed that his was the best name. Welcome to the world, Chimper Peak!
The descent was a blast! Once past the tedious rubble, we were treated to one of the best glissades I’ve ever encountered in the Rockies – perhaps second only to a wild Crazy Carpet ride down Mount Fairview in May of 2003 and tied with a strikingly similar glissade down Ochre Spring Peak, almost exactly one year earlier. Josée was fearless, glissading down some very steep terrain that I was only comfortable plunge-stepping down.
Unfortunately the unusually warm winter and spring had melted all the snow for a lower half of the descent, but we still managed to slide down about 600 of the 1300 vertical metres of descent. The remainder of the trip was an easy plod, with everyone in great spirits, riding the high of the terrific views from the summit and speedy descent.Couldn’t have asked for a better day and better company. A big thank you to Raff, Marta, Connor, Josée and Fabrice for making it so!