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Rockies ::  Yoho :: Traverse of Consummation

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 Consummation Peak summit views.  Lake O'Hara center distance, Linda and Cathedral lakes in lower foreground. Big mountain to the right is Mt. Odaray

Abstract

Overall Difficulty D5 Easy scramble on talus and lichen covered boulders.  Traverse of entire ridge and return via boulder slope between Consummation and Cathedral prospect is lose and more difficult
Snow Factor S3 Not a reasonable winter option due to length of approach
Scenery Linda and Cathedral lakes.  Great views of O'Hara area from Consummation.  Monica lake below Cathedral dotted with larches
Trail/Marking Good / none Official park trail to Cathedral basin with marked junctions.  Sporadic cairns on Consummation south ridge.  Exploratory and more difficult loop return
Suggested Time 6 hr Return time from O'Hara road or campground, including visit to Monica basin.  Add 3 hours if walking O'Hara access road
Elevation Start: 1930m     Max: 2554m     Total: ~800m   (O'Hara road) Round Trip: 17km (O'Hara road)
Gear Hiking boots and poles. Gaiters helpful on south ridge talus slope
Water Duchesnay and Morning Glory creeks, Monica lake outlet. No water source along Consummation ridge.  1-2L is enough
Dog Friendly Yes Lose talus slopes should not present the problem. Bears frequent Cathedral/Duchesnay basins

 

Gallery

Meadows between Linda and Cathedral lakes.

Cathedral lake below towering Mt. Odaray Ascending Cathedral basin with O'Hara views opening up Consummation peak from Cathedral basin trail

View down north ridge of Consummation Peak

Rocky tarn at base of Consummation north ridge Tricky boulder field on east side of Consummation peak Monica lake basin dotted with larches

Reflection of Mt. Odaray in tarn near Monica lake

Panoramic view of Linda lake    

 

Summary

Consummation peak is infrequently ascended minor summit on north side of Cathedral basin in O'Hara area.  Approach is via hiking trail leading to Linda and Cathedral lakes.  As for any trip in O'Hara area, pre-requisite is travel on access road that is closed to motorized traffic as well as bicycles. For day-hikers from parking lot on Trans-Canada highway it means additional walk of 9km (times two) - unless you are extremely lucky and can squeeze into the bus should there be any last minute no-shows. Alternative is camping in official O'Hara campground or stay in ACC hut -- for which space is equally hard to get in prime season.   Regardless of the way in,  journey to upper Cathedral basin where scramble begins is very scenic.  In summer meadows are full of wildflowers while in the fall abundant golden larches put whole area on fire.  Setting of Cathedral lake below towering Mt. Odaray must be seen to be believed.  Scrambling is easy and would likely get "easy" rating if Kane world.  There are several options for return - visit to Monica lake at end of Cathedral basin trail is highly recommended, but one can also descend to upper Duchesnay basin then pick-up trail somewhere near last-larch prospect.

Hike Cathedral basin trail starting from near km 9 of O'Hara access road; trail from the campground joins in within first kilometer.  Go around Linda lake on right (north) side, then continue to Cathedral lake.  At Duchesnay junction few minutes  past the lake go right. Trail gets steep and rooty - caution is required on descent. Higher up it traverses sizable boulder slope, reminiscent of Baden Powell section from Horseshoe Bay to Eagle bluffs in North Shore Vancouver. Follow the cairns. Views really open up here and entire O'Hara core area comes into the view.  Beyond boulder slope trail levels up and traverses sub-alpine below south ridge of Consummation. Although you can probably charge up anywhere, best way is to continue along the trail some 10-15 minutes past boulder slope to the clearing from where entire south ridge can be seen. Leave the trail here and ascend grassy hillside. Couple of cairns lead through lower boulders to base of talus slope. Near the top of traverse few meters left through bit of eroding cliffs and intersect south ridge.  Turn right and follow easily to the summit plateau that is surprisingly broad and flat. 

Normal return is same way you came up, but as alternative north ridge can also be descended without much trouble. It is slightly steeper, but does not present problems otherwise. Watch for some lichen covered boulders that can be slippery and tricky when wet.  From tarn at base of north ridge you can either turn left and descend to upper Duchesnay basin -- or go right and traverse tricky boulder slope between Consummation and Cathedral prospect.  This effort will eventually pay off, as there is lovely grassy terrace beyond it which offers phenomenal views and can be followed all the way to Monica basin.  Do be careful as twisted ankle or worse is real possibility.  Monica basin has plenty of larches and is very special place to visit in the fall as well.  Return from Monica to O'Hara road on Cathedral basin trail should take about 1hr 45 - 2 hr.