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One Day Ascent of Portal Peak
Timestamp Free: 2018.11.14 - 10:02:16
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges / Wapta Icefield
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 1200m
Participants: Vern D
Difficulty: 3: Difficult, loose scrambling to the summit. No special gear required, maybe an ice ax and crampons in case of lingering snow patches.
A rambling scramble up loose, exposed terrain to the summit of Portal Peak on the Wapta Icefield.
I decided to take advantage of a good weather forecast and a day off work on Friday, August 1 2014 to attempt one of my last remaining peaks along the Wapta Icefield - Portal Peak.

I'd heard rumors for years that this was only a scramble, after hearing initially from Dave Stevens that this was a full-on climb. I remember looking at it from the summit of neighboring Mount Thompson thinking it didn't look that easy. Originally there was very little beta on the peak and the years went by with me thinking it might be out of reach. In July 2013, Marko Stavrik posted an attempt which Ben and Steven used to make a successful summit bid in 2014. Their reports, along with a fairly detailed trip report from Paul Zizka, a Banff photographer who writes about climbing Portal Peak 5 times on his blog, led me to believe this was just a scramble and it went up my priority list.

I arrived at the lovely Bow Lake area around 09:00 - a very late start for me but as already mentioned, my motivation has been seriously lacking regarding mountain objectives since bagging my 400th peak in June. I'm not sure exactly why, but it has something to do with my realization that I only want to climb mountains and do hikes that I really enjoy. I am no longer interested in just accumulating summits that nobody gives a crap about, I want to be able to savor and linger over moments spent well, rather than obsess about moments that are still to come or may never happen. I don't know. Maybe I'm just reading too much philosophy and politics. Whatever! Life goes on.

Bow Lake was gorgeous, as usual, and the hike around it towards Bow Glacier Falls was a nice warm up - literally. It was going to be a hot day. I started hiking up to Bow Glacier Falls, but then turned up rubbly terrain on my...

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