July 30, 2015
Lake Louise, AB
With a few days’ sunshine in the forecast this trip started with a failed attempt on Deltaform Mountain thank to the non-ideal conditions. Fresh snow and verglass forced us to retreat at roughly 2 pitches below the first peak (aka. Neptuak Mountain), but nonetheless the 5 pitches of alpine climbing we did were among some of the hardest I’ve done (and with some incredible sunrise views too). But as the tradition of my site goes, no summit obtained so no trip report… While the weather was so gorgeous I did not want to just go home yet.
Eiffel Peak is a popular “Kane’s scramble” located right beside the classic Mt. Temple in the heart of Moraine Lake/Lake Louise region. It’s an equally impressive viewpoint even though its bigger brother gets significantly more attention. The plan was instantly made to join another 4 folks on this scramble even though I’ve never met any of them before. The route is very well documented in Alan Kane’s book plus many more trip reports but having just done the Wenkchemna Pass trail I knew the broad south gully would also provide an easy route up. It looked like just a steep hike with no bushwhacking nor route-finding involved (albeit a long and foreshortened one).
Upon reaching the upper draw in this gully/drainage the terrain started to get steeper and considerably looser so I ventured more to the climber’s right side and eventually joined the broad SE Ridge that’s also the route described in Kane’s book. Thank to the popularity of this peak a “highway” had developed with abundance of cairns and paths leading upwards and onwards. Higher up there was some brief hands-on scrambling involved on some loose ground through a few rock bands but nothing trickier than moderate scrambling, and again, thank to the cairns and paths there’s no need for route-finding. Shortly after that the summit was reached.
The descent went uneventful and tedious at times down the same route we came up. After so many hard trips in a roll I found this one to be completely lack of challenge of any sort. In roughly 1 hour we were back on Wenkchemna Pass trail and then there’s still fair a bit of hiking to go back to Moraine Lake.
Overall I agree with most people that Eiffel Peak is a scenic and straightforward objective that should be on every scrambler’s list. But as a mountaineer I do also find this one to be incredibly boring but that might due to the fact I got spoiled by so many incredible trips I did recently, including the one I just attempted…