Patterson, Mount

elevation: 3,197 m. height gain: 1,745 m. (including height loss)
area: Icefields Parkway,AB map 82 N/10

From Caldron Lake, continue north to Delta Glacier. Straightforward glacier travel contours Patterson's false summit and climbs onto the south ridge, 289322. The summit is easily reached from there.

Mountains mirror in Caldron Lake early morning.
Alpine climb: RT 16.0; 7.5 up. Holy moly, what a trip! The weather seemed stable during the week therefore we booked the "Barking Lounge" at Lisa's for our doggies. This would allow us a very early start (2 AM) from the Bow Summit parking. But the forecast changed, becoming more unsettled with a possibility of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Once again, the race was on. With a 30 kilometer hike ahead of us, we hastily plodded-on to Caldron Lake in the darkness. After 3 hours, we stood by the lake and daylight brightened the horizon. The top of our objective was engulfed. We wasted no time and continued towards the glacier. The sky was covering quickly but the ceiling was not lowering; we kept racing... Delta Glacier is long, we were happy to close-in on the ascent slope to the summit ridge. The slope is moderately steep and quickly leads to a saddle. With this behind, I finally started to feel we would stand on the summit. The last stretch reminded us of our trip last week: total loss of visibility on the summit ridge. We continued on the gentle ridge to the top. The cairn hosts a register; I was surprised to see an entry in February. Although there was no view, our stay was pleasant. I took the time to sign the register; my hands weren't frozen this time. At 9:30 in the morning, we had reached our destination; the race was over. I was elated and we still had all this time for the return. We stopped several times along the way, taking pictures and simply enjoying the scenery. Back on the grasses, it was boots off for a while. The clouds were dark but sunshine petered through. It tried to drizzle. Feeling rejuvenated, we carried on with our journey past the lake and down the moraine. A couple more breaks and we tackled the climb back to the observatory. That one hurt. We arrived at the car early enough to go home and pick-up our hounds at the kennel. This trip is quite lengthy but well worth it. The scenery is outstanding and the views from the top must be breathtaking!

Our objective is already in the clouds.

roping up

At the toe of Delta Glacier.

good travelling

Travelling on the glacier; Peyto Peak is now far behind.

delta glacier

A long stretch on the glacier; will the weather hold?

getting closer

Approaching the ascent slope, the cloud cover hasn't dropped.

in the cloud

On the summit ridge.

remembering lougheed

A little like last week.

not too cold

Yahoo, we're at the top!

bye bye patterson

Last peek at the top on the way down.

this way!

Dramatic drop on the Snowbird Glacier side.

i can see

Visibility returns lower down.


Very happy indeed.

false summit

Back at the base of Patterson's false summit.

off the ridge

Retracing our steps down the ascent slope.

last look

Last glimpse at the summit ridge.

good going

It was effortless coming down.

returning is half the fun

Lengthy Delta Glacier ahead, Peyto Peak in the far background.

summit is clearing

Patterson almost out of the clouds!!!

at the glacier

We rope up again.

weather holding

The weather is still fine.

off the ice

Off the glacier, the ascent slope for Mistaya Mountain is behind Fab.

caldron lake

Lovely rolling terrain near Caldron Lake.

grass break

Taking an extended break on the grasses.


Time to head out.

last little look

One last look at this magnificent area and far away Patterson.

gravel flats

Peyto Lake and the gravel flats down below.


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