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Esplanade Mountain

Difficulty: 
Moderate Scramble With Difficult Steps
Elevation [m]: 
2301
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
9.1
YDS Difficulty: 
3
Ascent Time: 
3:40
Bushwhackyness: 
Not bad, a bit to gain the ridge
Tripdate: 
Sunday, May 27, 2012

This was a mountain which started out as being mostly a scouting mission. After reading Eric Coulthard's description saying that a traverse from Esplanade down to the Cliff/Whitecap Mountain valley I thought it would be worth a look for myself (and a good view of the conditions on Gargoyle was a bonus!). I got to the warden station at 5am or so and (not wanting to wake the wardens to ask if it was o.k. to park in their area) thought it best not to chance it. My route started going into the warden station, branching left, crossing a bridge over a creek then striking out into the bush vaguely in the direction of the low point of Esplanade's ridge. After gaining and loosing some elevation I started some moderate scrambling and came across a goat trail which eventually merged with a man trail (that even had a few cairns). Once on the ridge going up is pretty much the best/only direction needed, there are plenty of options and no clear trail (that I could see) for large stretches, though the snow may have been covering a great many things. Once gaining the last large large bump on the ridge there is some nice scrambling across boulders/slabs and then a quick plod up to the summit. The summit has great views of the surrounding peaks and Hardisty, Kerkeslin, and Pyramid looked particularily great on this specific day. I tried an alternate descent route down the east side of the mountain through a drainage which proved to be a poor choice (tons of deadfall, loose rocks, and some very steep drops), stick to the way you came down or maybe try the gully Eric's description references, its probably a mess too though...

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