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Freedom of the Hills...

GR436425 II
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Date:                                                    September 23, 2006

Participants:                                          Author

Distance:                                              5km

Elevation Gain:                                     Approx. 650m

Maximum Elevation:                              Est. 2300

Elapsed Time:                                       4 hours

Published Routes:                                 Daffern

Published Rating:                                  Day Hike

Difficulty - Endurance:                          3

Difficulty - Technical:                            2.5, short rock band 3, (alpine 3.0)


Well after two attempts I finally climbed this little peak.  It is only a hike but approaches an easy scramble near the summit and on a couple sections when gaining the ridge.  In winter it becomes a slightly more serious endeavour.  In stead of my regular prattle I’d like to take this opportunity for a little sermon (yes, some may be rolling their eyes).


In a notch on the ridge that I entered to avoid loose wet snow, which is completely avoidable in the dry, and which rates as moderate scrambling, I had a foot hold pull out.  Nothing untoward happened as I had 3 other points of contact and I would not have even thought twice about it until I later learned that a fellow climber on the RMB forum had encountered loose terrain on the same weekend and was fairly significantly hurt.  Getting on my little soapbox for a moment I cannot stress enough that even easy hikes can become terribly costly.  A simple miscalculation, or bad luck, is sufficient to turn a wonderful day in the outdoors into a nightmare from hell.  On easier terrain, such an error will usually result in an injury that one can often times walk (err hobble) away from.  On difficult terrain such an error can likely mean death or horrific injury.  It is a fact that one is gambling with ones life, and the lives of their partners who will often risk themselves to help an injured partner, when they engage in these activities.  Mountaineering principles have been established that aim to minimize such risk.  Gear like ice axes, crampons, helmets, rope and ice/rock protection all reduce the potential for injury, if used properly (although they are absolutely not fool proof).  I stress that anyone journeying into the outdoors must do so with solid preparation and with the gear and knowledge to minimize risks. 


Looking up the ridge to the false summit and the notch.


Approaching the true summit


The backside of the ridge.


At the summit.


Looking North to some easy GRs.  The dark summit block of Tiara Peak peeking out on the left.


Looking back after coming over the false summit.


About mid-ridge on descent with Compression Ridge in the background.


Looking back at the false summit and notch as the skies begin to clear.


On a scrambly bit as the day turns gorgeous.