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Mount Bosworth
Yoho National Park, BC
August 6, 2004

Distance: 7.2 km
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 1160 m

Dinah and I found more thrills on Mount Bosworth than we bargained for. That's because we erred in following the directions in the guidebook. Somehow we didn't recognize the second gully, passed it, and we ended up in the third gully, the gully west of the second gully where the final ascent is normally made. Instead of being east of the summit block, we found ourselves in a steep gully west of the summit. We did an exciting ascent with 130 m of difficult scrambling that tested our routefinding and climbing abilities.

The trip begins by hiking up an avalanche slope from the Trans Canada Highway. Above the treeline, we started traversing left, but went too far. When we reached the main gully below the summit where it branches off into several narrow gullies higher up, we knew we were off-track. Overhead a black band of rock held huge cornices. We crossed the main gully to the branch gully farthest west, away from under the fearsome cornices. The gully started as a deep V, so steep and deep we couldn't reach the bottom and had to first climb up the left side.

This narrow gully was mostly a hands-on, straight-up ascent. I would have to rate it as difficult: the ascent of this gully was more difficult than downclimbing the crux on the correct route in the guidebook, and it was much longer. Fortunately it was mostly solid rock. It was great scrambling and lots of it. What detracted was that we weren't sure if we could reach the summit. Even more worrisome was having to downclimb this steep and tricky gully if we were stopped somewhere. On the way up, we found a carabiner attached to a strap from some long-ago climb. It was a discouraging sign as we had no rope.

Eventually we crawled out of the gully at the base of the black rock band where we breathed a sign of relief. Above us was another 30 m of difficult scrambling although not as technical as the gully.

We soon found ourselves next to the end of the cornice with only a brown rock band to ascend. After scrambling up it, we breathed another sigh of relief. We appeared on an open talus slope that led to a hump west of the summit. This hump, where there were remains of a tower or some such apparatus, was connected to the summit block by a short ridge. But to reach the ridge, we had to drop down a cliff. Fortunately there is a crack in the cliff face that we easily downclimbed. Minutes later we were standing next to the summit cairn.

From the summit, we spotted cairns headed down the east ridge. We followed the cairns marking the book route. Compared to our ascent gully, the established route was a cakewalk.


View of Mount Bosworth from the highway. We climbed up the black rock band just left of the lowest cornice.

Our approximate ascent route up as viewed from Narao Peak, but I don't recommend it!

Heading to the gully near the start

Dinah in the gully

Dinah reaches the top of the rocks

Looking back

Now off route: typical scrambling in the narrow gully below the west ridge

Steep rock everywhere

Cool rock but scary: we didn't want to downclimb it if forced to turn back

Looking down at Dinah at the top of the gully

At the base of the black rock band and on the left side of the gully we just climbed, I checked around the corner, but we decided to climb up to the right of this steep section.

Our route after coming out of the gully. We ended up left of the cornice. (In the previous photo, I was standing on the shoulder left of the arrow.) The rock bands were easier to ascend than the gully! (mouse over to back up)

Looking for a way up the black rock band

We reached the cornice and last rock band

After a prolonged, intense scramble, Dinah smiles after reaching safe
ground. Behind her is Narao Peak.

Mount Niles and Mount Daly

We continued climbing although we didn't know what lay ahead

Dinah slithers down a crack to get to the summit ridge

A few steps away from the summit

On the summit

Taking a well-deserved break near the summit

Scrambling down the black cliff band

Coming down the proper route

I couldn't resist checking out the buttress above me

On the buttress

Looking down at Ross Lake

Looking back at our descent

82 N/8 Lake Louise

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