View from Banded Peak

Banded and Outlaw Peaks
Kananaskis, Alberta
May 28, 2005

Taking advantage of the fine weather, Dinah and I decided to bag two peaks, even though Dinah wasn't feeling well; unknowingly she had become dehydrated when we climbed Mount Lady Macdonald the day before. While biking to the trailhead to Banded Peak, she suffered from fatigue, headache and sore muscles. Realizing she was dehydrated, we stopped frequently so she could rest and drink water. Two hours after starting out, she felt a bit better, and we traded our cycling cleats for hiking boots. We slowly headed up the trail.

We had no trouble following the trail to the basin until it disappeared into solid rock. We climbed the east slope expecting to spot the trail from above but no such luck. The trail, if there was one, probably ran along the bottom before heading up the west slope. But most of the valley was under snow, so we traversed a talus slope and then, after squeezing between slabs below and cliff bands above, we reached the Banded-Outlaw col.

Although Outlaw Peak filled our view while going up the basin, it wasn’t until we arrived on the col that we finally saw our first objective, Banded Peak.

Dinah still hadn’t fully recovered, and as we crunched up the loose shale it was touch and go if she would make the summit. Eventually though, we found ourselves standing next to Banded's summit cairn looking at the bewildering contents of the register canister: toys cars, music CDs, a key chain, a slide rule and other sundry. A card read: “Congratulations! You have found Banded Peak Cache.”

The register held a September entry congratulating the first adventurers to arrive on the peak since the placement of the cache. We weren't the first to summit Bandit this year; another party beat us by five days.

Summiting Banded Peak infused Dinah with new energy, and now she wanted to bag Outlaw Peak. We dropped down to the col and headed up Outlaw. Like Banded, it too was little more than a pile of scree.

The loose rock here was worse than that on Banded Peak. It seemed to go on forever, but quicker than we expected, we were on the summit of Outlaw. After skimming the summit register and taking some photos, we made our way down. We had no trouble finding scree runs for a fast descent to the col.

Soon we were navigating through the basin. Under the blazing sun, water from melting snow trickled, flowed, and roared. The sound of running water was all around us. The din gradually diminished as we hiked down the trail to retrieve our bikes.

MOVIE (posted on YouTube)
KML Track

Outlaw Peak (L) and Banded Peak (R)


Hiking up the trail through the trees


On the trail to Banded and Outlaw Peaks


Trail cuts into a scree slope for a long way


Soon after this we lost the trail. Outlaw Peak is on the left.


From the Outlaw-Banded col we head up Banded Peak. Cougar Mountain is on the left.


Nearing the base of Banded Peak


There was no trail going up Banded Peak


I made a remarkable find: a rock cutlass!


Endless scree up Banded Peak
(click for a larger image)


Grinding up the scree slope


On the summit of Banded Peak


Someone set up a geocache on the top of Banded Peak. Jimi Hendrix CD anyone?


After returning to the col, we headed for Outlaw Peak (click for a larger image)


Looking back at Banded Peak from the col (click for a larger image)


Rock band above was easy to get through


The scree on Outlaw Peak seemed softer than the scree on Banded Peak!


Taking the last steps to bag Outlaw Peak


On the summit of Outlaw


A page from the summit register


Summit panorama from Outlaw Peak


What was a trickle in the morning was now a torrent as we exited the basin


Heading down to the valley


82 J/10 Mount Rae

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