October 6, 2012
Jasper – Skyline Trail, AB
Amber Mountain is the 3rd objective of my ambitious solo traverse of Skyline Trail’s north section. It’s also the (technically) easiest peak since the trail goes up and over its summit. Those folks doing the classic Skyline traverse will summit this peak and many may not realize that as it’s rather just a bump on the ridge line, but since it has an official name, I’ll claim it.
There wasn’t much daylight time left after making my way down Center Mountain. There was a beautiful lake and I refilled my water again. I didn’t bother to follow the trail up the connecting ridge between Amber and Tekarra. The ground wasn’t boulder anyway so I hiked straight up which probably saved me some time. I quickly gained the ridge, and what surprised me was how far I still had to go towards Amber Mountain. I made the bad decision of staying on the ridge crest. The trail, which was not visible, actually traversed slightly below the ridge crest on climber’s left side. More boulders punished me for not seeing the trail.. I bypassed the false summit on climber’s left side, and then the summit was just in front of me. Now, I saw a group of 3 backpackers approaching from the other side. They were doing the classic Maligne Lake to Jasper traverse over 3 days.
Seeing Mount Tekarra from here was very discouraging, oh man, that was a long way to go. I didn’t do any break, instead immediately started the traverse. I didn’t know if I would have enough time to summit it before dark, but since I was there, I wouldn’t give it up easily.