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A Long Way to Marmota Peak
Timestamp Free: 2018.10.16 - 16:04:57
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges / Murchison Group
  (2 days)     Elevation Gain: 2200m
Participants: Steven S, Vern D
Difficulty: 2: Remote, routefinding and persistence are the key to making the summit. Moderate scrambling at most.
A remote and rarely ascended peak via Totem Creek and SW slopes.
Approach up Totem Creek

We started our day with an extra 1.3km hike from the northernmost parking lot along Waterfowl Lakes thanks to fresh road construction which made us nervous about parking along the highway. This turned out to be a very good idea later. It was the very late hour of 11:00 in the morning when we finally got our packs on and started trudging along the black top towards the Totem Creek drainage. The creek is drained through two huge culverts instead of a bridge, so many people probably don't even notice it as they drive past on hwy 93. We started off right in the drainage but soon traversed up to the north bank and a rough trail complete with fresh blazes led us upwards, high above the creek. I was sweating like crazy already - more than normal, although it was a hot day and we were leaving a lot later than I'm used to. The trail was faint but we followed it a ways before finally losing it in the bush. Thankfully the bush isn't too thick as long as you're well above the creek. A few times we got into pretty nasty bush but always got out of it quickly by ascending and traversing higher on the north side of Totem Creek along the SE slopes of Bison Peak. Thankfully some clouds started rolling in as we ascended and by the time we were side-hilling towards Lower Totem Falls, there was almost 100% coverage, keeping the temperature reasonable.

[photo]MarmotaPeakRoute.jpg[caption]Our route on Marmota Peak and exit back to the Waterfowl Lakes parking lot.[/photo]

The side-hilling wasn't pleasant, but on hindsight if you don't like this easy stuff, you're really not ready for any of the peaks in the Spreading Creek area! Side-hilling is the action-of-the-day out here. Might as well get warmed up on the approach already. When we got to the...

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