Today's plan is to backpack from Peak Lake to the area north of Elbow Lake via the Bow-Stroud saddle. We'll drop our heavy packs at convenient points along the way to bag Stroud and Bow. Bow is the final objective of our tip.

Peak Lake

Moon above Stroud Peak.

Backpacking past Sulphur and Brimstone toward the Bow-Stroud Saddle.

The route from Peak Lake to the saddle turns out to be rougher than it looks and is a poor choice with heavy packs. There is some loose talus and many large boulders to scramble up, over and around. A better option would be to take the trail to the base of Bow's southwest slopes and climb from there.

A caving trip is required to fetch a dropped Gatorade bottle from a sea of large boulders.

Dominic tunneling to the summit of Stroud.

Mount Oeneis and Stroud's jagged shadow.

Dominic on Stroud. Elbow Peak is on the left, Sky Pilot on the right.

Sulphur, Brimstone and Bow Mountain.

Bow Mountain's South Couloir is a Charmer

By this point in the trip we've had more than our fill of loose rock. Another couloir route does not sound appetizing and I'm really not looking forward to this one. I pray that its not too terrible but it sure doesn't look good from below. Today we find a surprise of a different sort: the route is actually solid and enjoyable! Stay on good rock on the left side of the couloir (class 4 down low, easier and non-sustained near the middle top), taking the right branch. Near the top exit left on class 3+ rock and boulder hop up several hundered feet of mostly friendly talus to the summit.

Starting up the obvious couloir on Bow's southwest face.

The key to this route is sticking to solid rock on the left side of the couloir. The couloir itself is a mess but luckily you never really need to climb it.

Looking down Bow's southwest slopes.

Traversing to the couloir's right fork.

The scrambling along the gully is actually very nice, a welcome surprise.

Nearing the top of the couloir. Here we exited to climbers left and climbed directly toward the summit.

Mount Arrowhead and the connecting ridge as seen from Bow's summit.

Brimstone and Sulphur, a curious pair of unranked 12ers.

Home north of Elbow Lake. We'll be here for 3 nights before starting the journey out.

Bow Mountain as seen from camp. The couloir we climbed is the obvious V with snow at the bottom on the right side.

Cool clouds above Sky Pilot and Oeneis.

Elbow Peak: A Good Excuse

Camp is established before noon once again. Faced with another long afternoon either cooking in a hot tent or being harrassed by mosquitos and horse flies it doesn't take long to come up with an alternative. Hey, what's that gentle yet eye-catching peak over there? Elbow Peak says the map and 1.63 miles from camp says the GPS. Sounds like a perfect excuse to check out the trail to Elbow Lake. We're off shortly after noon and it feels great to be strolling a fine trail followed by grassy goodness.

Elbow Peak from the trail to Elbow Lake.

Sky Pilot and Oeneis.

Elbow Lake, Sky Pilot Peak (left), Mount Oeneis, G-14 and Stroud Peak (right).

Ascending Elbow Peak's gentle north ridge.

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