GR882573 (South of Brewster Rock)

December 7, 2014

2464m

Banff – Sunshine to Assiniboine, AB

With some not-so-bad weather forecast Ben and I originally planed a ski ascent of Fatigue Mountain far into the backcountry accessing from Sunshine Village. However, after a day of resort skiing I was more-or-less exhausted. Failing to wake up at 3:30 am meant we’d have little chance to get Fatigue Mountain so we had to make a choice. Our alternative plan would involve driving all the way back to Kananaskis and post-holing to hell on snowshoes. Considering I just bought a new pair of AT boots I should test them out as soon as possible, so after hesitating and debating for a long time we eventually decided to just ski towards Fatigue Mountain for as far as we’d like.

GR882573 ski ascent route

GR882573 ski ascent route. GPX DL

Skinning up the ski-out to Sunshine Village went uneventful and took us about 2 hours, as usual. We took a short break inside the lodge and weather held quite nicely at this point. Then we skin’d up beneath Strawberry Chairlift and upon reaching the resort boundary we noticed some dark and low clouds rolling in obscuring most of the views towards Assiniboine. So the actual weather wasn’t nearly as good as we thought. The summit of Fatigue Mountain never came in view and it appeared to be miserable if going towards that direction.

So we veered climber’s left skinning up some gentle and sparsely treed slopes on Brewster Rock hoping for some powder skiing. As we slowly gaining height we noticed a small peak to the south. It also appeared that the gentle west-facing slopes could possibly offer some nice skiing, so we immediately decided to go up there.. This is the same ramp-shaped peak that I saw from Quartz Hill last year. I remember doing some research on it but didn’t find a name reference. Because it’s so unofficial here I’m just using its grid reference (GR).

Ben in the Sunshine's backcountry

Ben in the Sunshine’s backcountry

A view towards Brewster Rock

A view towards Brewster Rock

Looking back towards Twin Cairns

Looking back towards Twin Cairns

Ben skiing with our objective in front (the lower bump)

Ben skiing with our objective in front (the lower bump)

Typical ski touring in this area.

Typical ski touring in this area.

Ascending it was nothing rocket science except for that the slope was foreshortened. It’s longer than you’d think (about 150 m vertical from the base). Other than some perseverance the snow quality was better than expected and we managed to ski all the way to its top. The weather was pretty marginal at this point so we didn’t have much of a view.

Looking up the gentle slope on this peak

Looking up the gentle slope on this peak

Skinning up

Skinning up

Near the summit, looking back

Near the summit, looking back

As you can see the weather was marginal. Mt. Howard Douglas was obscured

As you can see the weather was marginal. Mt. Howard Douglas was obscured

This is a subpeak of Fatigue Mountain

This is a subpeak of Fatigue Mountain

Looking way towards east we could see Cascade and Aylmer, also much better weather...

Looking way towards east we could see Cascade and Aylmer, also much better weather…

I think this is the unofficially named Sundance Peak.

I think this is the unofficially named Sundance Peak.

Another high peak on Sundance Range

Another high peak on Sundance Range

The summit of Fatigue Mountain never showed up on this day

The summit of Fatigue Mountain never showed up on this day

Looking towards Citadel Peak

Looking towards Citadel Peak

Another view of Sundance Range

Another view of Sundance Range

Me on the summit

Me on the summit

A panorama view from the summit. Click to view large size.

A panorama view from the summit. Click to view large size.

On the descent we got some powder runs, but my legs were really giving up thank to all that downhill I did the previous day… I had to take a break for every few turns, but nonetheless we got some good practice. At GR882573/Brewster Rock col we put the skins on and leisurely went back to the resort boundary. From there on it was a nice and fast run all the way back to the parking lot.

Skiing down

Skiing down

More skiing!

More skiing!

Back to the Sunshine Meadows, looking back

Back to the Sunshine Meadows, looking back

Brewster Rock

Brewster Rock

Typical travel

Typical travel

Entering an open area

Entering an open area

Looking back. Our objective is the small peak in foreground

Looking back. Our objective is the small peak in foreground

Citadel Peak in the distance

Citadel Peak in the distance

Fatigue Mountain and Golden Mountain

Fatigue Mountain (in clouds) and Golden Mountain

The Monarch

The Monarch

Another view of The Monarch

Another view of The Monarch

Mt. Bourgeau from the ski resort boundary

Mt. Bourgeau from the ski resort boundary

Looking back, now Mt. Assiniboine showed up!

Looking back, now Mt. Assiniboine showed up!

Overall this day turned out better than expected. This little unnamed peak proved to be a reasonable objective relatively free of any kind of hazard, and I’d recommend it as a early season ski ascent especially if you’ve done all others peaks by Sunshine area and are looking for some variation.

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