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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Default Little Galatea

2012-02-12

Elevation gain: 870m (cumulative)
Distance: 13.6 km (roundtrip)
Total time: 6h 28m
Stopped time: 1h 22m

I had done this trip before, but I had initially dubbed it Rummel Ridge. Sometime after that I noticed that people were referring to the right north of Rummel Lake as Rummel Ridge and this one was dubbed Little Galatea by Andrew Nugara. This ridge is reportedly in Mike Potter's Ridgewalks book as well, though I haven't had a chance to flip through that book.

The route Andrew Nugara suggests is via Chester Lake. Though this is a shorter route, I believe it has more avalanche risk. Many cornices hang above this gully and even though there hasn't been much snowfall, I didn't feel too keen on going via this approach, especially without avalanche gear.

Approaching from the north west, we following the well trampled Rummel Lake route. Just before the popular trail drops down to the lake, we left the trail and continued up through the trees. We kept in the trees up until we reached the windswept and snow free ridge. There were no difficulties reaching the high point from this end. Some sections had pretty crusty snow and ice cleats or cramps might make the trip a bit more enjoyable.

I was thinking it would be interesting to continue east along the ridge towards Mount Galatea and gain the next highpoint, but by this time we had exerted quite a bit of energy and the weather was just getting worse. We turned happily at the high point we did reach and made our way down the same way.

Though there was a lot of goat or sheep droppings along the ridge, a lonely ptarmigan was the only wildlife we saw.

The Smith Dorrien road was quite good on the way in, but as we drove out, there were a few spots that were pretty slippery. My car does have winter tires, but there were a few sections nearing Canmore where I really felt it slide, especially in the turns.

GPS Track:

[Download]

Photos:


More photos here:
http://markostavric.fotki.com/2012/20120212/
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 08:45 PM
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Nice! I think this will be the trip we will do next weekend; it should be easier with the trail broken. Hopefully the ptarmigan is still hanging around then too - I'm still jealous of the goats that made an appearance for your trip up Commonwealth Ridge a week after us!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 10:37 AM
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Nice trip! I was doing Burstall Pass Peak + Chester Lake the same day. I kept an eye on both Little Galatea and Little Chester on the way to Chester Lake and there were slide paths on both of the two gullies. Thanks for showing another ascent route, I think I might go your route sometime when avalanche condition is better. And btw, it might be easier to drive via Hwy 40. My car doesn't have winter tires and I found no difficulty driving via south.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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This alternate route should probably warrant some care too, during the high/extreme avalanche ratings. There are some open spots within the tree line, as one nears the ridge.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 02:00 PM
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Nice trip marko, good to see someone is getting out. Very brave driving around the mountains without winter tires on your honda fit hhahaha
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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It does have winter tires, but I find it still slides out a lot on the Smith Dorrien. Or at least it did on this day. The tires are three years old now. I had them on my previous car (a Yaris) and had really good control with them.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-28-2015, 01:58 PM
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For those that are interested, a trail is once again broken up Little Galatea via the route described here. It's terrible sugar snow out there right now, so take advantage of it before it fills in again!

We didn't quite make it to the summit due to a steep snow slope, but if you've got an ice axe and more experience on such terrain than I do it might not be that difficult. Views are still great from the ridge, however.

See the photos at http://mattclay.zenfolio.com/little_galatea_attempt
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-01-2016, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclay1234 View Post
For those that are interested, a trail is once again broken up Little Galatea via the route described here. It's terrible sugar snow out there right now, so take advantage of it before it fills in again!
Many thanks good sirs! I took my wife and daughter up this excellent route yesterday. It was cold at the start (-23) but by the time we reached the ridge it was windless and very warm. My wife waited there while KC and I continued. KC turned back at the next high point and I dashed to the summit. Best advice I can give, is stick right to the ridge rather than trying to traverse - it's not as steep as it appears.

Views were stunning. Here's some shots to prove it. check out explor8ion.com for more details.










[Looking back up the section that looks worse than it is - simply stick close to the ridge and ascend the roll directly.]


Vern Dewit
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