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Mt. Temple (3545 m)

Mount Temple is obviously the biggest scramble you could think of. Because of its height and that it belongs to the prestigious 11000 footer club which seems to keep growing, rest assured that you won't be the only one up here! I did it with my Dad after 2 unsuccessful attempts. The 1st time we ran into a thunderstorm at Sentinel Pass with my Dad and my Brother, and the 2nd time we made it to about halfway between Sentinel Pass and the summit, but were turned back because of a convenient sheet of ice on one of the rock bands. Considering the height of the mountain, the elevation gain isn't too bad at about 1700 meters, but nonetheless it is a grunt for most and takes a full day.

After an early morning rainstorm which passed through the Lake Louise area, we were left there wondering what to do. At about 12:00 the rain stopped, so we decided to try our luck and head for Temple. We started off at a dangerously late 1:00 in the afternoon, somehow managed to join the mandatory group of 6 because of the Grizzly Bear, and headed up the trail towards Larch Valley. As of 2001, I have been up this trail about 6 times, each time counting the number of switchbacks. After calculating the average of my findings, I think it would be safe to say there are 10, so good luck counting. At least it's something to pass the time as you meander through the forest for about 35 minutes to the picnic bench. After this, you get into Larch Valley, and then the meadows where you get unspoiled views of the ascent route. Amazingly, despite all the naysayers of how crowded this mountain is, we encountered only one party, who were coming down off the top, a but disgruntled because of the weather.

Once you enter the meadows, the path up to Sentinel Pass is clearly visible. Expect lots of people, but even more squirrels here! I heard somewhere that this is the highest maintained trail in the Canadian Rockies, so you can marvel at that fact. My dad told me at this point that my Uncle Doug made it up to here in 1 hour once, but don't let that get to your head! This is the shot looking up from Sentinel Pass. Meander up through scree until you get to somewhere around the big sentinel that you can see from Larch Valley. From there, we traversed around a couple of gullies to find a good one to break through the rockband, but choose whichever one you wish, as you could probably have some fun here. After this rockband, you'll encounter some scree and then the next rockband which is easily surpassed through the obvious gully.

After the second rockband you break onto the big ridge/shoulder which leads to the summit. If you want to see a picture of this, look on the scrambles index page. You should carry an ice ax for self arrest, but obviously we didn't need it. My Dad keeps telling me the story of my Uncle Tom who slipped on this and was out of control, and somehow got lucky and stopped. The view here is of Paradise Valley from the summit of Mount Temple. Someday I would like to ski into here in the winter.

Here is the summit at last. You can see the beautiful colour of Moraine Lake far below. The best photographers always take their pictures of the mountains at sunset or sunrise, and maybe my Dad purposely waited so late to make a go, but I doubt it. After having wanted to climb this mountain for so long, it was great to be up here, but it's almost 6:00 now so I think we should going very soon......

We sure were in a hurry to get down! We were in such a hurry leaping down the scree that I hit my kneecap directly on a big rock. It hurt like the dickens, so much to the dismay of my Dad I had to limp down the mountain, eating away at the time since we didn't want to be caught out in the dark. "lions and tigers and bears, oh my!!" or maybe just the bears, but my imagination runs off some times! Anyways, we ran down the 10 switchbacks and were out just in time. It was past 8:00, but this was very late in the year. It was almost September, and we figure this was one of the last good days to climb it. Here is the lodge at Moraine Lake once we got down. We made it down faster than expected in 7 hours round trip, on par with the book's 7-12 hours, partly due to my Dad's "3 miles and hour or you're not coming with me!" Oh the great fun of hiking with Dad, never a dull moment!back to scrambles page