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Scramble the Ten Peaks via the Perren Route

Improvement District No. 9, Alberta


Added by Matt Ford

Enjoy stellar views of Mt Temple and The Valley of the Ten Peaks without the crowds. Altitude: 4000 feet. Distance: 7 km. Length: 12+ hours.

A true adventure with lots of route finding, glacier travel, loose rock and high altitude views. This is not for the faint hearted or first timers.

From the Moraine Lake parking lot walk down the east side of the lake along the well maintained trail. Towards the end of the lake you will cross the creek twice, there are cables to hold onto but it is a good idea to remove your boots and socks so they don't get wet.

After the crossing follow the trail for a few minutes until you find yourself at the boulder field, route finding can be somewhat difficult here but keep trending up and left and you will start seeing cairns. Watch for loose/wobbly rocks. The trail becomes more obvious as the boulders get smaller. You will make your way to a steeper, small canyon section with a rope to help you get up. Unlike some of the other ropes in the area this one is in good shape. From here you will need to follow the cairns up a series of 4th class ledges. The Perren route starts on the left side of the cliff band, and makes a series of traverses and vertical pitches before arriving at the glacier. The hardest pitch is 5.7, but it will feel harder with a backpack full of gear on. There is a solid chain on the 5.7 pitch which can be clipped and pulled on to help you up. It's common for this route to take 6-8 hours depending on skill level and the size of your group. Rappelling down the Perren route is the quickest and easiest route, every station has solid bolts and chains or rap rings.

The Alpine Club of Canada has built the Neil Colgan Hut on the col in between Mt Little and Mt Bowlen that you can stay in for a reasonable fee. This is a unique experience because it is the highest permanent and habitable structure in Canada (9700 feet or 2556 metres). This opens up the possibility of bagging many of the Ten Peaks over the course of a few days, while staying in relative comfort. You only need to bring a sleeping bag and a bit of extra food, the hut has bunk style sleeping quarters with pads, a stove and propane, cooking utensils and dishes as well as an outhouse. For more information and hut reservations : Alpineclubofcanada.ca.

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