Chimper Peak 

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 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!

The gang starts up the avalanche slope

Thankfully onto firm snow and almost into the sunlight

The south ridge of Chimper. There is a scramble route there somewehere


Speedy Raff leads the way up

The view to the south starts to open up

The ice, with water running below it, on the rocks was very cool

Josée and Connor tackle the steepest section of the ascent

A random beige-coloured rock 

Looking back down slope. The view gets even better

Onward and upward

It's easy to tell when I'm exhauasted - I stop to take photos behind me!

On the summit ridge, looking southeast. Storm Mountain and Mount Ball are visible.

Josée leads the final few metres of the ascent

The summit cairn and some of the view to the north

Within minutes 
Josée has increased the number of particapants in our party by one

Great helmet! Even snowmen believe in safety first

Fabrice, Raff, 
Josée and Connor share the summit with their new friend

Apparently it was love at first sight!

From right to left: Bident, Quadra, Fay, Chimney and Little domainate the view to the north
(although I find it hard not to stare at the snowman!)

Marta completes the ascent, with Mount Ball behind

Josée and Marta at the summit

A partial panorama

He switched helmets and got a nose-job while no one was looking

Boom Mountain, at the right, looks like a football field in the sky! (I only thought that because I'm writing this report
on the first Sunday of the 2016 NFL season, while wattching the Cowboys and Giants. Go Los Angeles Rams!!)

Connor and the now noseless snowman - poor sod has had two
different noses within the hour and now he can't smell s%$#!

A last look at the troops before we leave the summit

Heading down

Same as above

Connor on glissade. The slope is much steeper than it appears 

Flawless technique!


Also great technique!

Raff is happy to just be a model in the sun

Everyone in great spirits after the amazing glissade

Last look at the wonderful cirque of Chimper

Almost back at the trail