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A Long Day Trip up Mount White and GI20 ("Grouse Peak")
Timestamp Free: 2021.01.15 - 10:28:24
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 2050m
Participants: Phil Richards, Vern Dewit
Difficulty: 2: Easy biking, hiking and scrambling. Snow will increase the difficulties especially if day-tripping.
A long bike 'n scramble up two of Banff's more remote summits.
Phil and I sat silently in his SUV as the rain pounded down on the roof over our heads. We'd just driven up hwy 940 for 1.5 hours in a steady rain and now found ourselves 2km from our destination parking lot in front of a closed gate. In pouring rain. This was not what was supposed to happen today! Mount White is not a difficult mountain by any stretch - it's mostly a class 2 hike. What makes Mount White a big day is its location - buried in the Bare Range on the eastern edge of Banff National Park between the Panther and Red Deer Rivers with no nearby roads or parking lots. When planning the trip I became a little concerned when the numbers popped up - well over 65km of travel. Breaking it down, we had a 28km bike ride (return) from the parking lot with another ~37km of hiking. (Of course we tentatively added a 2nd peak to the itinerary that was 5m higher than Mount White, but nobody thought we'd actually be attempting that idiotic plan...) It was doable. The question smacking us in the face as we sat in the car was, could we do another 4km and did we have the will power to start such a big day in pouring rain and 10 degree temperatures?

[photo]1mountwhitegrouseroutemap.jpg[caption]Mount White & Grouse Peak Route Map - it's a long day trip![/photo]

It wasn't easy to drag our butts out of the car and start getting ready (all the while being rained on) in the muddy parking spot. I was feeling extra dejected for some reason - SpotWX had showed clouds over Mount White in the morning with clearing in the afternoon. I was not at all convinced that I was in the mood to be wet and cold for a 70+km trip. The problem with our Spot forecast was simply that Mount White was 30km away from the parking spot where it was raining. We were experiencing an upslope rainstorm and...

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