View above the pass
Three Sisters Pass and
Summertime, and Dinah and I wanted to do more than just a hike, but Saturday morning found Dinah tired, dragged down by a sore throat. A short hike was all we could plan for. So we jumped into our car and drove to the trailhead for Three Sisters Pass.
The trail took us through some surprising scenery along a creekbed and above a rocky canyon. We reached the pass in under two hours. Maybe the mountain air invigorated Dinah, or maybe the scenery piqued her curiosity, but at the pass Dinah yearned to do and see more. I was caught off guard, but we looked around to see what we could do. On our right, the impossible cliffs of Big Sister loomed above us, while left, rife with cliff bands, Lawrence Grassi 5 appeared tamer.
We started up. The cliff bands, it turns out, were short and hid wide ledges, unseen from below (on our descent we learned that keeping south avoids most of the cliff bands). We pushed up the slope easily until we reached a shoulder that led to an upthrusting rocky point. Intimidated by the steep rock, Dinah waited on the shoulder while I went to check it out. It turned out to be a non-issue for around the corner I found an easy chute to scrabble up. I reached another shoulder. It too ended with steep rock, but it was steep and exposed so that Lawrence Grassi 5 lay out of reach for me. I took a panorama before rejoining Dinah.
Three Sisters Pass in itself is a pleasant and worthwhile destination, but extending it to include the South End of Lawrence Grassi with its routefinding, scrambling and far-ranging views, adds spice. Together, I should think the pass and the high point make a good trip for mixed abilities: you can leave your hiking buddies lollygagging on the pass and impress them by climbing high above them.
Hiking up the trail alongside the creekbed
Recent heavy rain had apparently created a torrent of water, bringing down trees
A trail avoids the waterfalls, bypassing high on the right bank
Passing a dramatic drainage on our right
Lots of varied scenery along the way
Looking back just before we enter the trees
Once out of the trees it's only few dozen metres to the pass
Looking north: this viewpoint (mouse over) can be easily reached but we had higher ambitions
Big Sister fills the background
Heading to the high point in the centre
Little and Middle Sisters
Easy ledges break up short cliff bands
Dinah looks for a way up the next cliff band
Pondering her next move
This was about as tricky as it got
Dinah calls it quits here
I start up
It turns out to be an easy-moderate scramble
Dinah's last view of me before I climb a few metres higher and out of sight
(mouse over to zoom out)
Looking back at Dinah
Back at the pass, looking at the South End of Lawrence Grassi (click for a larger image)
Coming down the trail
82 O/3 Canmore
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