Mount Bell

I had decided to scramble up Mount Sparrowhawk. After checking the forecast however, I opted for Mount Bell since there are a number of lakes along the route and it was going to be very hot. There is some dispute on which approach is best for Bell, the Taylor Lake approach as described in Alan Kane’s Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies, or the Boom Lake approach (which Kane also mentions, but does not emphasize as the best option). As a photographer, the Taylor Lake route seemed more appealing, as it goes through more varied terrain. The day turned out to be a lot longer than I anticipated, as the total distance was in excess of 27 kilometres, the upper portion of the ridge beyond the pass required more route finding than I imagined, and I made time for a swim in Taylor Lake on the descent. All in all I would recommend this route, as O’Brien Lake and the meltwater ponds above it are truly spectacular!

01_bell_route
The route begins just off the Trans Canada Highway north of Caste Junction, and follows the marked trail to Taylor Lake..
02_parking
Early morning light over Castle Mountain
03_define_trail
The hike becomes a scramble
04_obrien_lake
O’Brien Lake – wow! Mount Bell is in the background
05_tarns
Circling around O’Brien Lake on its right side, you scramble along a waterfall to reach these upper meltwater ponds.. again, wow!
06_snow_slope
The route now takes us across a snowfield and up to the pass in the background. Don’t forget your ice axe!
07_boom_lake
From the pass, views to the West open up above Boom Lake
08_summit_west
It felt like forever, but I eventually arrived at the true summit! I left the parking lot at 7:15am, and topped out around noon.
09_summit2
Another summit view to the north includes Mount Temple, Panorama Ridge, and one of the Consolation Lakes (among other things)
10_glissade
The line made by my bum glissading down the pass (ice axe crucial!)
11_pond
A final alpine view from a different meltwater pond above O’Brien Lake
12_pink_paintbrush
Pink Paintbrush (castilleja rhexifolia)
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Mount Bell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s