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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada.
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Default Mt Fable

Managed to secure a free day to climb Mt Fable on Sunday June 1st. The trip up Exshaw Creek proved to be an exercise in log-jumping, creek-hopping and bush-whacking until reaching the correct ascent drainage. Having hiked Exshaw Creek before the 2013 floods, I would say this area is now a bit rougher, but Gil Daffern's new book does describe a by-pass route in the forest on the east side to avoid some of the nastiness (although, this was discovered after the fact). The first few kilometers of the drainage were nice and dry, before running into supportive snow which made the going even easier for the next couple of km's. The snow gave way to some avi debris just below the headwall, where we could see some massive cornices guarding the upper ridge that defines the traverse from Mt Fable to Gap Peak. One section had already let loose, so we did not linger and immediately scrambled up the cliff bands of the headwall to avoid any potential avalanche run-outs in case the cornices decided to collapse on this warm day. Once above the headwall, a snow slope adjacent to brown scree lead all the way to the col, where the rest of the route to the summit was mostly bare and dry. The upper summit ridge had some residual snow on the left side that was easily avoided, and the narrow ridge provided some excitement before reaching the summit. Did see some old bootprints in the snow so we were not the first ones up there this year, but the lack of summit register made it impossible to know when the other party made it. The descent was made easy using the brown scree above the headwall, and the snow in the drainage below. Faint trails/bare areas on skiers left made the drainage hike tolerable once the snow ran out, and the final 5 km out Exshaw Creek was a repeat of the approach (except with a higher creek level after a hot sunny day).

Pictures:

1. In the ascent drainage just before the snow starts, Mt Fable to the right.

2. Avi debris just below the headwall.

3. Easy travelling on snow in the upper drainage.

4. Section of collapsed cornice on the Fable-Gap traverse ridge.

5. Gap Peak in the middle foreground.

6. Route from the col to the upper summit ridge almost completely dry.

7. Upper ridge with summit cross (!) in sight.

8. Mt Townsend (left of centre).<center></center><div align="left"></div id="left">
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 05:34 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Great shots.

When I did this scramble, I took the descent route described in the Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies book, down through Grotto Canyon. It was terrible. Later I found out about the better route up the south ridge. It sounds like you descended the east slopes. Is that right?

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 07:15 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Nice TR, thx for sharing and welcome to clubtread. I actually found this to be an almost exact account of my solo trip up Mt Fable from May 5, 2006. I recall watching a couple cornices break off the Fable-Gap ridge. It was pretty cool. I enjoyed a bit of a glissade on the way down too. I recall doing Middle Sister about the same time and finding that creek gulley approach to be a bit more tedious but certainly nothing of the two compare to Morrowmount and Jura Creek. Anywho, thx for sharing, brings back some fun memories from gosh, 8 years ago now.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 08:32 PM
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Nice.
Fable still waiting in the pipeline, always been put off by long approach

Sitting on the Coast looking at this, start feeling strong longing, typical for Spring in the Rockies, melting snow and excitement in the air from all summer adventures on the horizon after months of winter freeze.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Marko, we came down the same way using the eastern slopes of the drainage. No way was I going to try to head west along the ridge with those cornices up there. That would have made for a really long day as well.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 08:21 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Nice report Cory - and timely too; I was just contemplating a jaunt up Fable on Friday! Glad to see that you made it out last weekend.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 10:41 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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That sounds like a better way to go when starting from Exshaw. If I were to do it again, I think I would just go up the south ridge of Gap and traverse, returning the same way. A little bit of extra elevation gain, but no bushwhack and views the whole time.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 01:28 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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I have a free Friday as well, and thinking about doing either fable/charles stewart south peak (did squaws tit's on june 1st) or lawson. How long was the trip, 6-7 hours?
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Fusti88, our time was a bit on the long side at 10 hours, although I think it could be done quite easily in 8 hours or less if you are moving at a good pace. My partner twisted his knee on the descent just above the col, so that slowed us down quite a bit as he didn't want to aggravate it any further by rushing. This was also the first big trip of the year for both of us, so it helps to be already in scramble-shape for faster trips.
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