Lipalian Mountain

May 7, 2012

2728m

Skoki / Banff National Park, AB

Lipalian Mountain is one of those that’re highly visible just across the valley from Lake Louise and has some ski hills on its sides. It’s not a major summit by any mean, but does offer some great winter opportunity. In particular, it forms the classic Pumpkin ski traverse with the nearby Purple Peak and Unity Peak. I wasn’t interested in tagging Unity Peak due to avalanche concern so this was my second objective of the day, after summitting Purple Peak in the morning.

Purple Peak to Lipalian Mountain winter route

Purple Peak to Lipalian Mountain winter route

From the summit of Purple Peak I had to lose 50-100 m elevation on the connecting ridge, but nothing major in terms of technical difficulty. It took me about 40 minutes from Purple to Lipalian and the views were mind-blowing especially looking towards the giants by Lake Louise.

Looking back towards Purple Peak from the connecting ridge

Looking back towards Purple Peak from the connecting ridge

Protection Mountain from the summit

Protection Mountain from the summit

At the center is the Skoki trio - Richardson/Pika/Ptarmigan. Redoubt on right

At the center is the Skoki trio – Richardson/Pika/Ptarmigan. Redoubt on right

Douglas and St. Bride in the distance

Douglas and St. Bride in the distance

Temple, with The Ten Peaks in the background

Temple, with The Ten Peaks in the background

Bident and Quadra right of center

Bident and Quadra right of center

Mount Victoria

Mount Victoria

The bigger peaks are Carnarvon, Presidents, Daly, Balfour

The bigger peaks are Carnarvon, Presidents, Daly, Balfour

Mt. Hector dominates the view towards North

Mt. Hector dominates the view towards North

Richardson/Pika/Ptarmigan

Richardson/Pika/Ptarmigan

Douglas and St. Bride

Douglas and St. Bride

It was only 9:20 am, so that means I still had lots of time. I managed to convince myself to traverse to Unity Peak. The first thing to do was to get back to Purple Peak and from there I descended the ridge connecting Purple to Unity. From the col, the route described in Chic Scott’s Summit and Icefields looks pretty avalanche prone especially since the sun was out on full force baking that south slope. Since I was soloing, I didn’t want to take a chance, so I headed back down Purple Bowl. There’re some steep slopes too. I knew Josee and Fab ascended Unity from an alternative route, and I started to look for their tracks. I could even hear their voices up on the ridge, but I couldn’t find any ski tracks… I did see some avalanche paths offering a “direct” route but weren’t sure about the stability, so I abandoned the idea of ascending Unity. (For those of you being curious, I made a successful ascent of Unity Peak on December 12, 2012).

Going back to Purple Peak

Going back to Purple Peak

Looking back to Lipalian from Purple Peak

Looking back to Lipalian from Purple Peak

Looking down to Purple Bowl from Purple Peak

Looking down to Purple Bowl from Purple Peak

Purple Peak from my descent route

Purple Peak from my descent route

I took a long lunch break at treeline, and leisurely descended back to car. It’s funny that I used 4 hours on the way down, but 3 hours 10 minutes on the way up… On the way back, I noticed there’s even a ski run from parking lot to Temple Lodge, not just the road… Oh well, I’m getting familiar with this area anyway.

Wolverine Ridge. I like this area so much that I'll return on skis

Wolverine Ridge. I like this area so much that I’ll return on skis

Looking down Wolverine Valley

Looking down Wolverine Valley

Zooming-in towards Whitehorn

Zooming-in towards Whitehorn

Temple Lodge

Temple Lodge

Walking down the approach road

Walking down the approach road

I went to Lake Louise lake shore for some photographing. Even though it’s off-season and it’s Monday, Lake Louise is always busy… On the way back, I decided to take Bow Valley Parkway. I saw a grizzly bear on roadside and took some close photos on him…

The griz...

The grizzly…

Another photo of this beast.

Another photo of this beast.

One more photo

One more photo

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