Climbed by: me solo.
This is the first scramble I did on my own. It was nice to know that I can spend a couple hours by myself without getting too bored!
This mountain is super easy to climb. Travel from Canmore down the Spray Lakes road, and stop at the parking lot on the left side of the road just before the big hill heading down to the parking lot for Ha-Ling (and Goat Creek, though I've never used it for that).
Just across the road you'll see a fairly obvious trail leading up, and back toward Canmore. Follow this trail, which heads steadily upward to, and then along, a ridge. Before long, you'll leave the trees, and you'll see your destination far above.
The cliff bands look imposing, but they're really not. Just below the level of the cliff bands you can choose to veer right, along the edge of a decent sized drop to a 2 meter or so (simple, but quite exposed) scramble, bypassing the cliff band altogether; or, if you veer left, you can zig-zag your way up the cliff band. I chose to take the exposed scrambly bit, and I think it saved several minutes, and would have saved far more if the cliff bands were congested with fellow scramblers knocking rocks down from above on the cliff band.
Not far above the cliff band you'll come upon a wonderful alpine meadow. If you're lucky you'll see some sheep and maybe a marmot or two! Head toward the right, and follow the ridge right up to the top. I went in behind (to the right) of the blocky stuff at the top, and scrambled up to the top in no time. It wasn't much harder than walking up a flight of stairs (with marbles on it, maybe). I made it to the summit in 2 hours and 1 minute. Not bad for a fat computer geek. I chose to come down the same way I went up. I ran down, and got back to the cliff band in not much more than 10 minutes. While coming down the zig-zags at the cliff band my boot lost its grip on the loose gravel and while I was flailing my arms to regain my balance something went 'ping' in my back, ending any further efforts to make good time on the descent. Ultimately, it took 1 hour 45 minutes to get back to the car. I suspect it should have taken closer to an hour, making the round trip time roughly three hours, not counting lunch at the summit.
|You can sort of see EEOR on the other side of Ha-Ling. It's not a very good picture. I'd like to get one from the parking lot just down the hill from the EEOR trailhead and replace this one with it.|
|Once out of the trees a bit, you can see the bare rock slab that needs to be climbed. From here you can just see the summit block peeking up above the ridge near the top. You can also see the cliff bands and part of the rubbly trail.|
|Ha-Ling from the first flat spot on the way up EEOR -- the place with all the cairns (you'll know it when you see it!)|
|From the same flat spot with all the cairns, a view into the Spray Lakes valley.|
|A little closer, you can see the the cliff bands under the summit block in the top center of the picture.|
|Another view of Ha-Ling from further up EEOR.|
|A better view of the valley, with a good look at the canal and Goat Pond several miles away.|
|A clear view of the summit, summit ridge, and some of the alpine meadow above the cliff band. Very nice!|
|A marmot enjoying a meal of grass and/or flowers and/or bugs.|
|A view of the alpine meadow from neat the bottom of the summit ridge.|
|The summit block. How are you supposed to get up this thing? I went in behind, to the right. I found what looked like a complex set of very small stairs -- good enough for me!|
|The summit cairn. I didn't find a register, which makes me think that perhaps this wasn't right right summit. There was a nice looking ridge walk to another summit, but it didn't look as tall as where I was. I really am kicking myself for not venturing over there to see if there was a register (or a cairn, even) over there. Next time, perhaps.|
|Me on the summit. Nice hat!|
|A trip up EEOR wouldn't be complete without a shot of the top of Ha-Ling (and Lawrence Grassi, just behind it, at about this elevation).|