Louis, Graham, and I decided to take advantage of some great weather and a time window we all had
to put a strong outing together. While not comparable to the legendary Graham 'barn-burners', this
was a pretty strong day, comparable to Temple in length, and definitely challenging enough for most
scramblers. 9 hour time from car to the summit of Lougheed 3 meant it was a long day!
A caution that this post is a bit long, but I wanted to fully capture our outing.


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I have to start this story with the night before and being terrified of forgetting my lunch.
This is literally the note I left myself on the garage door the night before. The best part?
BOTH Louis and Graham did EXACTLY the same thing! I had Graham's story of being out with his
father-in-law to 'guide' him and forgetting both lunches in my mind at the time! The following
photos are a mix of mine, Louis', and Graham's. Louis' will be more in focus and will be more scenic,
Graham's will be cooler, and mine will try to tell a story.


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The morning dawned MUCH nicer than the smoke-filled evening we had the night before. This is the
sun lighting up the nice peaks across the Spray Lakes (Nestor on far left, and Old Goat in middle of the frame).

Heading to Lougheed #1


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The start of the trail simply runs up a creek bed, which Graham thinks is AWESOME! Did I mention Graham
thinks EVERYTHING is AWESOME! He's the happiest human I know (in addition to Dave L), and he makes our trips
that much better for being with us.


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I had to get a photo of our 'cowboy' who dressed in western garb. Truly, he was simply trying to keep the
sun off his neck, although the Agrium shirt was a nice touch. He would have suited with a cowboy hat though.


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Once the creek bed started to get a bit pinched, we started to side-slope up on the upper meadow. It turned
out that this was definitely a good call as the terrain was lovely, very light brush, and really great views.
A pity this shot was a bit dark, but I wanted to capture the angle of the slope as we left the creek bed.


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As we got up into the spruce forest, Louis and Graham found this huge mushroom and Louis wanted to sample it.


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The route up to Lougheed 1 brings you up the drainage to the north of Little Lougheed, which was quite
stunning in the morning to look at.


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A bit better look back at Little Lougheed with Louis and Graham happily discussing alpine flowers and
the best guidebooks (and apps) to identify flowers.


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The boys looking back at Spray Lakes with Old Goat Mountain in the distance.


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Louis with a view of Rimwall to the west and I think Mt Lawrence Grassi above that.


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A dusky grouse that Louis stumbled into on the trail.

Video of the grouse


More info on the grouse is HERE


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I've seen a lot of sun rays or crepuscular rays as the sun comes up through clouds, but this was the first time
I had seen a similar effect from the band of smoke that was sitting above the valley.


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Picking carefully among the foot placements on some looser talus/scree.


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Louis and I considering the route options before making the call to turn hard right and find the 'key to the route'
as Nugara describes it - the 'South Ramps'.


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Louis gave us a lesson in sheep beds and pointed this one out for us. Graham's poles are there for scale.


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After we decided to turn hard right, we chose to give up on side-slipping on talus and instead lose elevation in
favour of MUCH softer terrain. We're following the slope line of grass and moss here to avoid the large cliff band.


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As we turned the corner around the large cliff band, the 'obvious' route up the talus field became obvious
(head up to the ridge line and avoid falling down).


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As we pushed through the scree and talus, we made it to the ridge and got a really cool view of the pinnacles
on Mt Lougheed's northwest arm. This is where the actual scrambling started and some would say 'it got real'.
No, we didn't go right up the crack here (the route is to the left), but it just looked cool.


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Louis also likes this view from here.


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Louis going up the first technical piece of the day.


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Louis up on top of the first bit waiting for us now.


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Me, climbing the first section with all fours engaged.


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Graham climbing with a pretty good view below him.


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Louis, looking down at Spray Lakes.


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Graham says, 'yeah, that was nothing. Give me more.'


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Louis and a neat-looking cave feature as we found the 'crux' of the Lougheed 1 ascent, a single move to
get off the deck.


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Sometimes you have to put the poles away and use all fours. The first move to get off the ground wakes you
up a bit, but then it's all happy stuff.


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Graham says 'woo bam!' as he makes the move.


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As we got above the crux, we were rewarded with this stunning view of some really rad pinnacles!

View around the Sea of Pinnacles



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This might be one of my favourite photos of the day. How blue is the sky? How cool are these rock formations?


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Louis got a neat shot of Graham and I heading into the sea of pinnacles.


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The path is obvious, isn't it?


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We went into this bowl, and then kicked back to the west ridge, where Louis now sits happily thinking
about where we're going next. Yup, the route is up this left side, but as I think I said a few too many
times to Louis and Graham, "Um, stay to the right." Thanks tips.


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Louis picking his way like a true mountain goat.


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Louis is showing us the way here.


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Some hands-on ridge walking.


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Once we gained the actual ridge, the boys got pretty stoked. Not a bad view.


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Graham and one of the last ridges for Lougheed 1.


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The north east face of all of Lougheed's mountains is REALLY steep and forbidding. Here is Louis on part of
the Lougheed #1 massif just chilling out.


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The main summit of Lougheed 1 is actually quite big and wide and composed of multiple mini-summits. Here
are Louis and Graham enjoying the view on one of those.


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The last ridge walk before gaining the summit.


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Summit of Lougheed #1


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I'd say this look is even better.


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Life is pretty good on the top.


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The three amigos on the summit of Lougheed #1.

Video of the view from Lougheed #1


Heading to Lougheed #2


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This was the view looking at Lougheed #2. Yeah, it looks a bit forbidding to be honest.


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The scree slide down Lougheed 1 was SUPER pleasant to this point. Louis is saying, "Sure, piece of
cake to get to here."


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Graham and I considering what the scramble is going to look like.


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A look back at Lougheed 1 from the hiking portion getting to Lougheed #2.


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Some of the route-finding on this route was challenging, but Louis and Graham rose to the occasion.
The actual climbing was fine, but I found my O-ring a bit puckered in places not being too sure of the route.


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Louis looking down on us from his perch.


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A good bit of this portion of the scramble involved sloping scree with some rock. When we'd find cleaner rock
we'd try to use that to get a bit higher.


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Here's Graham saying he likes this kind of stuff a lot.


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When we finally made it to the 'scree ledge', I definitely felt a bit of relief.


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To the other side of the scree ledge is a lot of air...


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We found the 'crux' piece of the Lougheed #2 traverse, which was a short ~4-5m section with a few class 5
moves. The only issue here is the exposure, which we countered with a bit of careful spotting.


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The view from the top of the crux looking down.


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Louis gave this route a solid two thumbs up.


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My new favourite shot of me in the mountains. Thanks Lou! Hard to believe that the route we just took brought us
up the horizon line on the left here.


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Panoramic shot from Lougheed #2.

View from Lougheed #2



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This is Graham's glamour shot.


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A slightly less cool shot of Graham with Lougheed #1 in the distance.


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Graham and Louis think Mt Lougheed is a good time for all.


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Since Nugara called out climbing up summit 3 as 'easier' than the exit between 2 and 3, we added
another summit to make our total 3 peaks for the day. Here's Graham on the top of summit 3 looking
back at summit 2 with the scree slopes visible. It turns out that the route I took before is
in between summit 2 and 3, not summit 3 and 4. Oops.

Complete data set for the 9 hour tour is HERE


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The 3-D Google Earth view of our GPS track.


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Exiting summit 3 was a bit loose so we held the ridge line to the col, then turned downslope and followed Louis
the goat. Depending on whether you call Lougheed #4 Wind Mountain, or the smaller triangular peak to the left here,
it's still really windy at this point of our day.


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In the drainage under Lougheed 3/4 col, we found airplane wreckage. This looks like the elevator at the back
of a small aircraft, and sure enough, This report calls out a small Cessna.


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Here I am checking out the aircraft wreckage.


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This looks like a window for a small plane, maybe the 6-passenger Cessna 185? Although those pictures don't have a
round window, so maybe it's from something else.


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More window photos.


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Graham and Louis sliding on some leftover snow.


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Louis and I taking a break to fill our water bottles from the snow melt.


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I tried to catch the reflection of the smoke-red sun in the creek, but it didn't quite catch.
For anyone who exits this way, cross this creek to the west before it narrows into a canyon.
Good intuition by Graham and Louis.


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Louis and the canyon walls.


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Louis looking up the scree below Lougheed 2 (the route I did before).


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Graham and a smoky red sun with the north walls of Mt Sparrowhawk.


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Smoky red sun.


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Some marmots we saw on the way out.


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Really cool panoramic showing the smoke in the air, and the scree cones for other routes.


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How smoky is this shot? Coming out of Spencer Creek drainage.


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Some of the "troll area" at the base of Spencer Creek.


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Thanks to Graham for running (actually running) to go get my car 2.2 km up the road!

Full data came out at ~20 km, 1858 m vertical ascent, 12 hours of traveling (9 up, 3 down), and ~5000 calories burned!

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