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White Pyramid as a Day Trip on Skis
Timestamp Free: 2018.04.22 - 23:17:48
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges / Waputik Mountains
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 1650m
Participants: Jason W, TJ Nault, Vern D
Difficulty: 3: Steep avalanche slopes and some glaciated terrain on the summit ridge. Crampons, rope and mountaineering ax required.
A steep snow climb to a spectacular summit along the Icefields Parkway.
When JW and TJ invited me on a weekend ski trip either up White Pyramid or Cathedral Mountain I was more than ready to join them. We decided on May 1 2009 for a White Pyramid ascent. I didn't know a lot about this mountain, but I did know that it was a lot of height gain since it's next door neighbor, Mount Chephren has been on my "to do" list for while, and it's almost 2km vertical gain and not much higher!

We started bright (OK, not so bright) and early, leaving the west end of Calgary at 04:00. The drive was a bit slippery but other than one near death experience while going over a bridge we didn't have any issues. About 5km past "the lake" we spotted a large pull out off the highway. Since the book doesn't mention a pull out we knew we were technically not in the right spot but foolishly decided to go anyway. In my experience this kind of thinking rarely pays off and it didn't really pay off for us on the approach either.

We knew, based on a trip report from a colleague from the day before, that there was one snow bridge still spanning the Mistaya River and that this snow bridge would not be lasting much longer. We probably should have spent more time trying to find the tracks from this group because we ended up having to push over a tree and very gingerly cross a very open and un-bridged river on our approach. Thankfully we found a better route on descent that utilized a rapidly disappearing snow bridge.

[photo]whitepyramid005.jpg[caption]Crossing the Mistaya River on a log.
 We found a snow bridge on return.[/photo]

After Epaulette Lake we were on the tracks from a group the day before, and an ACC group from a couple of week before that. This helped immensely as we didn't really have to routefind and could concentrate on simply putting one foot in...

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