Friday, September 30, 2016

GR 396219 “Little Tombstone” - "Janelea Mountain" | Scramble, South Ridge

After our ascent of South Schlee, we spent Sunday night in the same camp in upper Piper Creek, then at first light moved camp over Piper Pass. Originally we had hoped to ascend “Ripsaw” (GR373253), but the approach was too long for the short days, so we decided to ascended “Little Tombstone” (GR 396219).  We set up the tent about 2 kilometres north of the pass along a beautiful larch tree lined bench, then hiked down the steep headwall, across the valley and up the simple east slopes of Little Tombstone. 

We did gain the South Ridge up to the southern summit (had a fun series of towers that we scrambled up), then hiked up the South Ridge to the summit, bypassing one tall/steep gendarme. 

Route up and down Little Tombstone.

On the summit we found an old small jar (baby food maybe) in the summit cairn.  The only entries were:

“Janelea Mountain” S. Toporowskj and D. Smith, July 3, 1975. Ascent by North Ridge.

Jim Palmer, Rita Polt and Jerry Piro. September 11, 1977. Ascent by East Ridge.

John Martin. August 19, 1986. Ascent by East Ridge.

Also an entry I couldn’t read. I kept our entry simple since paper was brittle and falling apart). Kevin Barton, Scott Berry. September 19, 2016. South Ridge.

Old registry, 1975.

Scott and Kevin on the summit of Little Tombstone.
Our summit entry.

Quick descent, basically straight west down the slopes, avoiding the few steep slab sections. Then across the meadows and light bush of "Paradise Creek" and a tough scramble up the headwall back to camp.  We got back after dark, finished our small supply of whiskey and headed to bed.  We woke up to about 20 cm's of snow, packed up without a hot breakfast or coffee to make good time in the boot to knee deep snow.  Slog over Piper Pass, soaking wet trees back to the Elbow River and out.  A great three days in a special part of the Rockies.

Snowy start to the day.

Heading to Piper Pass, our camp site back in the clouds.

Tarn on the north side of Piper Pass.

Little Tombstone from the pass, looking snowy this day. 

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