Story and Photos by Leonard Maglalang
In the month of August 2020, two of the most sought-after alpine routes of the Valley of Ten Peaks in Banff National Park, Alberta were accomplished by K8 Mountaineers. The Glacier Travel via Perren Route to Neil Colgan Hut and the Mt. Temple Summit.
The first August climbing activity of K8 via Perren Route to Neil Colgan Hut was participated by Levi John Ramos, K8 Executive Chairman, Archer Tinambacan, K8 Co-founder and Leonard Maglalang, K8 Executive Secretary departed from Calgary at 11:00 pm 31st of July, parked in Moraine lake staging area. We left the jump-of-point on 1st of August at 5:00 am.
Accumulations of snow over centuries become densely compacted thru time by its weight. We were mesmerized to see and walked on this geological formation. Rated Alpine II, 5.7. It was amazing to see even during summer in Alberta, there are places here that can be snow-covered all year round. Hearing nothing but breathing, the ice axe and the crampons crunch up. Started with a stream crossing, then scrambling and technical rock climbing and ended up with glacier travel before the descent. There’s no better feeling.
We were the first team to ascend. Halfway through the 3rd pitch, another team of 9 climbers showed up on the distance. After summiting the glacier summit, there is a traffic jam as the team of 9 still climbing the final pitch. It was our first time on this route, we find it difficult to locate the raps station. Fortunately, a couple that stays in the hut was now going down and showed us the bolted anchor which is located way below the edge of the ledge. We arrived at the parking lot at 8:00 pm. What an amazing SONA and experience!
ALPINISMO: A FILIPINO PERSPECTIVE ON WINTER MOUNTAINEERING by LEONARD MAGLALANG, the first book of Filipino Mountaineers/Alpinist in Canada will be available soon. Featuring 7 finest climbs of K8 Mountaineering Club of Alberta.
The second activity was summiting Mt. Temple, with 3,544 𝘔 (11,627 𝘍𝘛) altitude, on August 28, 2020. It is the highest mountain in the Lake Louise area and included on the list of Canadian Rockies 11,000’er to be climbed. The Mountain is rated at Southwest Ridge as Alpine I, 5.3. This route is the most common way up to the peak and is around 12 hours return. The route when dry is really no more than a scramble with a few rock-climbing moves.
We arrived at the Moraine Lake parking at 4:30 am and started the trail at 5:00 am. The hike from Moraine Lake to Larch Valley pushing up to Sentinel Pass was simple as the trail was established and obvious. It took us about 3 to 3 1/2 to reach Sentinel Pass.
The ascent to the summit was long and a true mental battle during the final push. Having experienced members with good knowledge of the route is definitely an advantage, but route-finding skill is a must even if there are markers located along the trail. If you like scrambling, this is the mountain for you. The crux can be intimidating and need to take time if you are new and uncomfortable with heights.
We arrived at the summit by 1:00 pm. The views at the top were spectacular. Complete 360-degree views of all-mountain range surround you. Going up to the mountains can be very difficult. As much as you would like to stay at the summit, you have to understand that another hard part of your task is still ahead of you. You cannot stay there for an extended period of time, you have to keep moving. But, going down will also remind you how far you’ve come. The descent was pretty tough on the knees like every other descent in the past but longer. Trekking poles really helped and always bring a helmet as some hikers above accidentally loosened rocks down. We made it down to Moraine Lake by 7:00 pm.
A massive day for K8 Mountaineers. We are glad to have finally get to the top of this 11,000’er. We could not have asked for better weather conditions. You will feel being humbled to be given this kind of beautiful rare opportunity to see the beauty of the mountains. This is not the Himalayan range, this is the Canadian Rockies mountain range.
You want to climb, you have to take risks. There is no success without risks and struggles. Yes, we fail and make mistakes but learn from them. Never give up until success. It might go sideways sometimes, but if you’re enjoying the journey, you will get there eventually.
Today, K8 is the home of Pinoy Mountaineers here in Alberta whether freshly from the Philippines or long-time residence, setting up a goal of sharing the beauty of the mountains thru responsible mountaineering and producing more Alpinist.
Interested in joining the K8 Mountaineering Club of Alberta?
You can add or send a request on our Facebook Page at K8 Mountaineering Club of Alberta.