Distance: 6 km
Elevation gain: 850 m View map Download GPS track
During the academic year I can't take a single weekday off (I teach each day and there's no such thing as substitute teachers in university!), which means the only time I can hike is on the weekends. The problem is that if it rains/snows on the weekend I can't really get out, and missing out on the benefits
of that adventure really takes it toll. But with winter term now complete I'm finally more free to actually hike when the weather is nice, and with a rain/snow mix in the forecast again this coming weekend and beautiful sunny weather today I felt it was a good day to exercise the freedom 11 years of post-secondary schooling provides. I'll pay for later it I suppose, but not while hiking!
If you're a regular reader of my site you'll perhaps have noticed that I've been getting more into scrambling
this past year and today was another small step in that direction. Today I chose to hike/scramble up the East End of (Mount) Rundle, also known as EEOR (pronounced just like the Winnie the Pooh character). It's an easy Kane
scramble and is very popular so I figured it would be a safe objective to tackle alone.
After parking at the Goat Creek parking lot I made my way a few hundred meters north along the road before starting up a good trail; a trail that started directly at the parking lot didn't look all that appealing to me at the time. The general route up was straightforward and reasonably obvious nearly the entire way. The popularity of the trail meant it unnecessarily branched many times, but simply taking the best-looking route worked each time for me.
One thing I've noticed about myself is that I am very good at route finding and navigating in the forest or through large features, but navigating through the smaller stuff - especially when there are confusing trails everywhere - is a skill I am still developing. My inexperience with this got me into minor trouble on Door Jamb Mountain
last week, and it did the same thing today just below the summit block on EEOR. There appeared to be two easy-ish routes to the summit and I chose the one furthest right (east). Very shortly into this route, just below the cliff band, I decided it wasn't ideal for me, but instead of retreating and trying the other ascent route I decided to follow a faint track along the base of the cliff to look for a weakness. I did find one, but shortly into it I realized that it was just as loose as what I'd avoided earlier and thus began a slow and tedious retreat. I had the sense to now go for the more westerly ascent route, but once there I also ended up taking a poor route up through the cliff band. I think the issue is that being new to this sort of terrain I simply don't know what actually is best! Thankfully I was able to plot and follow a far more reasonable course on the way down, in part because it was possible to see the entire route from above, but also hopefully because I'm learning.
Overall this was a great early season trip and one that should be possible for anyone with any scrambling experience. The hard part is right at the end though, so even if you can't do it you'll still have fantastic views to the south.