Ascent of Mount Temple on 2017-08-09

Climber: Rob Woodall

Date:Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Temple
    Elevation:11614 ft / 3539 m

Ascent Trip Report

6h30 day hike via SW ridge from Moraine Lake; parking lot was already almost full when I arrived about 7am. Then folk start to park along the road and after a while the road gets closed. Then there's a shuttle minibus from village ($30 adult round trip I think it is).

Parks Pass is needed for vehicle; arriving early I couldn't get one at the Banff park entrance and the Lake Louise visitor centre doesn't open until ?8.30 so I was resigned to getting the shuttle bus midmorning. However a conversation with a walking group in the village car park indicated that 1) Park passes are free of charge this year as it's Canada's 150th year and 2) he had some spares in his car! Hence I was able to arrive early at Glacier Lake. Lots of folks, mostly around the lake taking photos, but a few heading for Sentinel Pass. I tagged along with a family from North Carolina to avoid going solo in bear country, although it seems unlikely they would be encountered on such a busy trail.

Nice hike, initially zigzagging up through coniferous woodland, then open meadows then steep zigzags lead up to the pass with a dramatic overlook just above, and Pinnacle Peak rising sheer on S side of pass. N rises the SW ridge of Temple with a good trail, a little loose, a little scrambly. Crux section is short, with an obvious gully/chimney, with cairns indicating the easiest route is R of gully. Not seeing this initially I climb L of gully on nice rock, a little exposed. (In descent I stay in the gully, not exposed but a little awkward, then see the taped cairn).

Above crux the path is mostly steep and a little loose although footing generally good. A few folk heading down; just before summit I catch a local guide who's taking his Mom up (unpaid I take it!).

Summit at time of visit was cornice of glacier (N51.35116° W116.20627°), reached by a short easy trail with a small crevasse to cross. Views pretty good although nothing distant due to smoke of wildfires which is a big issue in BC this year with little or no rain for a month. Outcrop at N51.35100° W116.20641° is the highest land, a metre or two lower than the glacier HP.

I'm up in 3h45, spend about 30mins on top, down about 2h15, passing quite a few others coming up. Sun is hot, glad I started early. Lower section walked with a family from near Whistler. The informal groups of 4 rule is pretty easy to work with although doesn't seem to be as rigorous as I was expecting, with a few twos although no one solo as far as I saw.

Back in Lake Louise village, food shopping, bear spray at the well equipped Mountain Sports stall, also a road map on which I mark the southern BC ultras I'm interested in, then take it across to the visitor centre where a staff member is able to point out the main wildfire locations - my plan to head via the Transcanadian highway for the 3 peaks around Kamloops should work - except for the jetlag which stops me at Revelstoke. This is first peak of a 4 week trip. Followed by Morton Peak tomorrow.

Temple photo album
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5665 ft / 1726 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Exposed Scramble, Glacier Climb
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5665 ft / 1726 m
    Distance:5.5 mi / 8.8 km
    Start Trailhead:5949 ft / 1813 m
Descent Statistics

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