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A Fall Scramble of Mount Howard Douglas and Eagle Mountain
Timestamp Free: 2020.07.09 - 18:17:20
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
(1 days) Elevation Gain: 1700m
Participants: Vern Dewit
Difficulty: 2: Moderate scrambling on scree / slabs / snow.
A straightforward scramble of one of the most striking peaks in the Sunshine Village area of Banff National park and an easy peak beside it.
As I started my annual week off in late September 2017, I didn't know what I was in the mood for. The weather wasn't fabulous, but it wasn't horrible either. Being solo, I didn't really feel like a huge day - not to mention Phil Richards and I had some pretty big plans for later in the week and I didn't want to ruin those with too big a day already on Monday. Of course, being September, I wanted larches to be part of the landscape. I've often looked at Mount Howard Douglas, either while skiing at the world class Sunshine Village resort, or from various trips nearby such as The Monarch, Ramparts, Healy Pass or Twin Cairns. It never looked that easy and I always wondered what kind of scramble it would be - having heard for years that it was indeed, only a scramble. When Andrew Nugara published a moderate route in his latest guidebook, I knew I had to give it a go sooner than later and this would be the day. I hoped to combine it with its easy neighboring peak - Eagle Mountain for a relatively short and easy two peak day.
I started bright and early from the Sunshine Village parking lot, walking up to the Goat's Eye complex on the ski-out / approach road before the daily buses started their grind up to the Sunshine Meadows above. A few resort vehicles passed me on the road, but other than that it was its usual steep-but-easy grind. For anyone interested in taking the bus for these scrambles, you'll have to walk back down the road from the village where the buses stop, so it may not be worth it. It's good to get the leg muscles engaged early on this outing anyway - you'll need 'em! wink I realized, as I walked the road past the Goat's Eye gondola station, that this was the perfect solo outing. It has a short, easy approach up a road and then angles up to treeline along...
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