Monday, August 3, 2015

Mt. Cheops Scramble

Upon my return from Nicaragua, I invited myself along on Kyle's long weekend with Alan. En route to Revelstoke, we stopped in Roger's Pass (Alan's wintertime stomping grounds) to go for a hike. By the time we left the parking lot, it was already noon, but that didn't faze Alan who wanted to climb Cheops. Unbeknownst to us, this was a pretty significant undertaking for a seemingly lazy afternoon. 15.5km and 1278m in fact!
Heading up the valley to Balu Pass
 It was hot and buggy on the way up the valley, but the trail was beautiful and we moved quickly up into the alpine.
Beautiful trail made of stone. Alan filling up his water in a stream
Alpine meadow at Balu Pass
At Balu Pass, we stopped for lunch. Cheops was a long way above but Alan was sure we would have no problem making the summit that afternoon. As we picked our way through the scree and meadows, I was amazed by how fast you can move with a small pack and running shoes!
Looking up to Cheops from Balu Pass
Making our way up Cheops, looking down to Balu Pass
Lots of scree left to go to get to the summit
 We got up to what I thought was going to be the summit. Surprise! There was a ridge to follow to get over to the top. No problem, it wasn't that bad. We worked our way along the ridge, looking down over the edge and scoping out winter ski lines.
Looking over to the summit of Cheops
Traversing to Cheops Summit
 From the top (2581 metres), we had amazing view of Mt. Sir Donald and the Asulkan Valley. It was a glorious day!
Summit!! With Sir Donald and Asulkan Valley behind
The boys at the top of Cheops
Alan riding Cheops
 To speed up the descent, we went down a drainage then traversed across the meadow instead of crossing the ridge and going back down the scree. This ended up being just as long as the ridge (maybe longer) and hard on the ankles with all of the side-hilling.
Alan the mountain goat crossing the steep meadow
Back down to the valley
We were back at the car with plenty of light, although we were one of the only cars left in the parking lot! So much for a leisurely hike... at least it gave us a good excuse to get Kitchen Sink burgers at the Village Idiot when we arrived in Revelstoke!

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