John and I took a "full mountain day" to do the complete Glasgow to Banded Peak traverse
and try out a different route for the entrance to this traverse.


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This day started just before 4am as we wanted to give ourselves the best chance to get back to the car
in daylight. Here's John crossing the suspension bridge inside the Little Elbow campground as we got
a start right around 5:30am from the trailhead.


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We wanted to try a different uptrack than John had done previously to Glasgow Peak. This route
involved no travel up the Big Elbow trail, and so there wasn't really an opportunity to bring
bikes at all. This is a view from a clearing on our uptrack.


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After dealing with what felt like pretty aggressive indigestion (maybe I ate too early?), John
and I wound up in an interesting meadow area that actually had a sand floor.


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While we did have pretty excellent weather for the outing, we got some morning rain that appears
to have blurred this photo, but you can't blur the smile off this guy as the sun starts to rise.


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A look back over the little mound we encircled coming out of Little Elbow Valley.


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The route up to Glasgow goes up to a first high point shown here, with Mt Glasgow in the far
right of this photo.


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As we cleared out of the tree line, where we'd be for the bulk of the day, you can see the path
to climb this high point was just left of the ridge line. You can also see the size of the talus
here that meant a lot of limestone got tromped on.


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A nice shot from John of Mt Glasgow along with its north peak. I think we determined that it would
be a heinous route to try to connect the two of these peaks though.


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Nice shot looking back at Nihahi Ridge.


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After getting over the high point and having a bite, we had to lose some elevation back down to the col
here before starting the long slog up to Glasgow proper. We were initially pretty excited about this route
to summit Mt Glasgow as it appeared to be more direct. However, it turned out to be longer for
time for sure, even though it was shorter by distance.


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The route up Glasgow is along the right ridge here, although just before the summit, we veered hard left
to come back to the left ridge line, in order to avoid a fair amount of cliffy terrain.


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It's hard to capture steepness in a photo, but John tried to get a sense of why it felt
like it was so steep to the top of Mt Glasgow - because it was steep.


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John on summit 1 of the day, Mt Glasgow.

View from Mt Glasgow



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Looking back down the ridge we scrambled from Mt Glasgow.


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Summit of Mt Glasgow with Mt Cornwall (our next peak) visible behind me.


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A happy smile on the top of Mt Glasgow, after almost 6 hours of uphill travel. We had already
gone ~1500m up in elevation by the time we got to this peak and it was definitely the more
technical of the 4 summits by far.


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On this clear day, you could see Mt Assiniboine from here.


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John doing a bit of downclimbing off Mt Glasgow to get down to the Glasgow-Cornwall col.


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Coming down the ridge from Mt Glasgow.


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This was really the first good look of a few of the 'crater-like' rims seen all around this traverse. The path down from Glasgow follows the ridge to the col and then right back up Cornwall.
Both Outlaw and Banded Peak are also visible from here.


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Looking back up the descent ridge from Glasgow as John throws a spray.


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A look back to Glasgow shows the interesting terrain that makes this more than a hike.


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Once down to the Glasgow-Cornwall col, it was just a scree ascent to the summit. John is making his
way to the summit cairn in this image.


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Panoramic of John on the summit of Mount Cornwall.


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Looking at a slower hiker (me) from the summit of Mt Cornwall.

Video from the top of Mt Cornwall



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I texted this photo to my buddy Graham since I'm pointing at Fisher Peak and it was his son Fisher's
birthday on this day.

Video on some neat rock between Cornwall and Outlaw



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Some pretty unique rock in between Cornwall and Outlaw.


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Cool look at the crater-like rim between Cornwall and Outlaw.


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A better shot of the same crater.


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I give this crater the Paul Perrault stamp of approval.


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More crater shapes as we look towards Banded Peak, coming down Outlaw.


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Interesting very red plant with tiny pink flowers, that might be alpine watercress but is likely something else.


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John with the descent trail down from Outlaw.


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This plant has funny-shaped 'pods' that I'm not sure what it is. More identification necessary.


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Starting the last ascent of the day to Banded Peak.


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Apparently, there used to be a marathon to the top of Banded Peak, and I can only imagine how
terrible that would feel to be in this spot, knowing you still have ~250m of elevation gain
left at this steepness, plus the entire way back down to go. Inside this little black streak, I
left a much larger brown streak and learned that limestone makes for terrible TP.


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Panoramic looking back over our route for the day. From the top of Mt Glasgow to Banded Peak took us
about 4.5 hours but on both the approach and descent, you tag on another 6 hours each way.


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Looking back at our descent from Outlaw Peak, taken from Banded Peak.

View from Banded Peak



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Me, proving that I made it to Banded Peak.


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John on the summit of Banded Peak having his second slice of pizza of the day. Other than TP, the other
item I need to ensure I pack more regularly is a poofy as we had strong winds pretty much all day.


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John says "This is a nice view" as this was his 3rd traverse.


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John throwing a spray again, this time with a really sweet view of Mt Cornwall.


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This is a sweet meadow as we exit off the high alpine and back down to the valley.


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Both John and I have decided that the exit we did from Banded Peak officially sucked. This is John
amid the almost 500m of elevation drop that is crazy steep and awfully painful.


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As we finally got to the bottom of the scree, we were rewarded with a really pretty valley and headwall
that is really well-protected.


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John agrees that Banded Peak looks pretty aggressive from this angle.


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A view of the 'pinch' we descended down the awful steep scree and into the creek below.


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Pretty waterfall that still has snow covering portions of the creek. Kudos to John for talking
me out of traveling across this snowfield after I broke a piece of it off and would have taken
a ~10 foot drop to rock bottom had it happened above the creek.


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We did cross this snowfield as it was super thick, and was pretty much the only way to get over to the
lateral moraine. I named this creek 'Dante's creek' as the climb up the moraine might as well
have been the path to Hell since it was so steep, solid and then crumbling when you least wanted it to be.


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Some of the 'Dante's creek' moraine that John is fighting with.


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The top of the moraine was this super nice open meadow that was kind of unexpected.


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Better look down the lateral moraine and out to our exit.


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After finally getting up to the moraine, all that was left was finding a good trail and following
it out for what felt like absolutely forever. This was the first glimpse we had of the excellent
Big Elbow trail and I had a mini-celebration. By the time we got to the trail, we still had
another 7km left of putting the hammer down and pushing 12 minute kilometres to get home.


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A last look up 'Dante's creek'. I'm sure there's a more official name as it appeared to be pretty well-used by horses and likely outfitters to get into this valley.


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Our route from Google Earth.

Data from our route is HERE . Ultratrac says 50km, so more like 40km, with
almost 2600m elevation gain, over 7000 calories burned, and 16.5 hours. Big day indeed!
Thanks again to John for his guidance, his calm demeanour, and for his patience when I
thought an alien was going to jump out of my chest. Return to picture index