Eiffel Peak

July 30, 2015

3080m

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).

Eiffel Peak scramble route via south gully

Eiffel Peak scramble route via south gully

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.

A view from Wenkchemna Pass. Eiffel Peak at center

A view from Wenkchemna Pass. Eiffel Peak at center

Another look from Wenkchemna Pass. The lake in the foreground is Eiffel Lake

Another look from Wenkchemna Pass. The lake in the foreground is Eiffel Lake

Looking back towards Wenkchemna Peak and Hungabee Mountain

Looking back towards Wenkchemna Peak and Hungabee Mountain

Now, already a long ways up the broad south gully.

Now, already a long ways up the broad south gully.

Looking back towards Neptuak/Deltaform...

Looking back towards Neptuak/Deltaform…

In the upper draw now, still quite a ways to go

In the upper draw now, still quite a ways to go

Looking down this broad gully

Looking down this broad gully

Joining the SE Ridge now, looking towards Pinnacle Mountain and Mt. Temple

Joining the SE Ridge now, looking towards Pinnacle Mountain and Mt. Temple

Great view towards Mt. Fay and her glacier

Great view towards Mt. Fay and her glacier

Terrain starts to get a little bit hands-on

Terrain starts to get a little bit hands-on

Key points like this are all well cairned

Key points like this are all well cairned

The upper mountain

The upper mountain

Almost to the top

Almost to the top

Looking down the scramble route. Typical terrain

Looking down the scramble route. Typical terrain

Partial Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

Partial Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

Partial Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

Partial Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

Deltaform Mountain and its super couloir

Deltaform Mountain and its super couloir

Eiffel Tower is a separate pinnacle on this mountain

Eiffel Tower is a separate pinnacle on this mountain

The massive bulk of Mt. Temple, one of my earlier scrambles

The massive bulk of Mt. Temple, one of my earlier scrambles

This picture shows the long climber's descent route of Mt. Aberdeen and Haddo Peak

This picture shows the long climber’s descent route of Mt. Aberdeen and Haddo Peak

Front-range peaks including Cataract Peak just left of center

Front-range peaks including Cataract Peak just left of center

The glaciated Mt. Lefroy

The glaciated Mt. Lefroy

Horseshoe Lake at the base of Hungabee Mountain

Horseshoe Lake at the base of Hungabee Mountain

And here's Hungabee Mountain

And here’s Hungabee Mountain

The Goodsirs...

The Goodsirs…

Another picture of Mt. Temple, with Pinnacle Mountain in front

Another picture of Mt. Temple, with Pinnacle Mountain in front

Neptuak Mountain is a difficult climb by itself.

Neptuak Mountain is a difficult climb by itself.

Deltaform Mountain - probably the hardest summit in this area. I'll be back for sure...

Deltaform Mountain – probably the hardest summit in this area. I’ll be back for sure…

Mt. Tuzo (R) and Mt. Allen (L)

Mt. Tuzo (R) and Mt. Allen (L)

Mt. Fay

Mt. Fay

Mt. Babel is apparently just a walk-up from Fay Glacier

Mt. Babel is apparently just a walk-up from Fay Glacier

In the foreground is another Kane's scramble - Panorama Ridge

In the foreground is another Kane’s scramble – Panorama Ridge

The summit cairn is huge

The summit cairn is huge

Me on the summit of Eiffel Peak

Me on the summit of Eiffel Peak

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.

Time to head down

Time to head down

After a long and tedious descent, this is looking back up the very foreshortened gully

After a long and tedious descent, this is looking back up the very foreshortened gully

I like the colour of Moraine Lake

I like the colour of 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…

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