Mount Lawrence Grassi

June 16, 2012

2685m

Canmore, AB

The objective for this weekend changed a dozen times and eventually it was Neil (Travelin’ Jones) and I planning Windtower and Rimwall on Sunday. The weather was cloudy with chances of showers but the peaks around Canmore are small in nature so don’t get too affected by the weather. My mom decided to accompany me on Saturday and I figured Mt. Lawrence Grassi could be a good choice, and if weather held we could also bag the nearby Ship’s Prow.

Mt. Lawrence Grassi standard scramble route

Mt. Lawrence Grassi standard scramble route

According to Arcturus’s trip report on ClubTread, Mt. Lawrence Grassi is snow free by now. That indicated its lower south neighbour, Ship’s Prow should also be snow free. The forecasted gusting wind in late afternoon and evening forced us to to start at 6 am. The parking lot was the same as Ha Ling Peak’s, and from there we had to walk about 20 min around the base of that mountain, until reaching a drainage marked by cairn and flagging. By now, there has already developed a well used trail straight up the slope on Mt. Lawrence Grassi so bushwhacking wasn’t necessary.

A morning view from the approach.

A morning view from the approach.

Reaching treeline

Reaching treeline

Looking sideway across the slope towards Ship's Prow's slope

Looking sideway across the slope towards Ship’s Prow’s slope

My mom was not a skilled scrambler and she couldn’t deal with any sort of loose terrain, so she stopped at treeline and I continued on the mountain solo. The rest of the route is just tedious scree, rubble and slab and there’s not much to describe. Near the summit block the ridge got narrower with drop off on the south side and steep slab on the north side. The slabs are covered with scree as well making a bit of exposure. Despite the moderate rating, I found this part straightforward and less exposed than Mt. Rundle’s dragon’s back.

Looking up from just above treeline

Looking up from just above treeline

This is the crux section. Note the orange scree on slabs

This is the crux section. Note the orange scree on slabs

Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

I wanted to kick down this cornice!

I wanted to kick down this cornice!

Rundle in the background. Ha Ling looks small in the foreground.

Rundle in the background. Ha Ling looks small in the foreground.

Big Sister just right of center. Behind is Mt. Lougheed

Big Sister just right of center. Behind is Mt. Lougheed

The orange horizon towards East

The orange horizon towards East

More about this orange horizon

More about this orange horizon

Summit register.

Summit register.

Apart from signing register and taking panorama, I didn’t linger any longer. There might be a way to traverse directly from Lawrence Grassi to Ship’s Prow, but apparently I had to downclimb a series of cliff bands. I’ve never read a report about this traverse, so I did’t want to take a chance. I soon went down to treeline and re-joined mom. The descent in the forested slope was uneventful except for the steep grade felt hard on our knees. The weather still held so we had to do the next objective, Ship’s Prow Mountain.

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