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Mt. Schaffer Besieged.
Timestamp Free: 2019.05.21 - 20:48:34
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 720m
Participants: Philip Akins, Lisa Paynter, Eloise Akins, Oliver Akins, Aaron Heidt, Lisa Heidt, Simon Heidt, Linnaea Heidt, Jocelyn Akins, Andrew Bryden, Sparrow Bryden, Luca Bryden, Guy Akins, Victoire of France F 3rd class.
A big group outing up the easy-but-adventurous Southwest ridge.
When it comes to getting a group of 8 adults and 6 kids up Mt. Schaffer the crux move comes 3 months ahead of summit day when you have to book the hugely popular campsite at Lake O'Hara. This is not a trivial matter given that the method Parks Canada uses for this purpose is a good old fashioned phone line that opens to all comers at 8am. Fortunately we had the numbers, and with almost all of the adults in our groups pressing redial for a couple hours on the appointed day we got the sites we needed. As for Schaffer itself, the Southwest ridge was the perfect outing for our group. A pleasant hike to McArthur Lake followed by a steep climb up talus to the base of the SW ridge, where we tied the kids up (few parties with older kids / adults would feel the need for ropes) and made for the top.

On the approach we took the High-Level Circuit trail to the high point above McArthur Lake (marked by a huge cairn pile) and then left the trail and worked up right and around to the West shoulder. On the descent we took a more direct line back to this same point on the main trail, which I recommend for both ascent and descent. This is easier to nail on the way down as you simply follow the direction off southwest ridge and keep going; on the way up, put your back to the cairn pile and head up into the talus bowl. Aim for a small break in the cliff band ahead through which you can gain the SW ridge.

[photo]Cairnpile.jpg[caption]Cairn pile on the main (High Level circuit) trail. Lake McArthur out of site to the left of picture. Head straight up from here (behind photographer)[/photo]

[photo]SWridge.jpg[caption]Southwest ridge.[/photo]

[photo]Oldman.jpg[caption]An Old Man on the summit. Lake O'Hara below.[/photo]

[photo]Luca.jpg[caption]Luca relieving himself on the...

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