Roche Miette

Elevation: 2316 m
Elevation Gain: 1425 m
There are conflicting stories surrounding the origin of the name Roche Miette. While one school of thought claims that the term Miette is derived from the Cree word “Myatuck” for bighorn sheep, the other claims that Miette was a legendary French-Canadian voyageur who, when dared by his colleagues to climb this peak, did so. Miette is said to have celebrated his success by dangling his feet over the roche’s edge while smoking his pipe. Regardless of where the term “Miette” originated, we can all agree that the term “roche” is French for “rock”.
My Ascents:
September 1 2011

After a very successful back-country camping/peak bagging expedition to Assiniboine Provincial Park a couple of weeks earlier, Brianne and I decided to dust off the camping gear one more time and take advantage of some mutual time off by heading up to Jasper to see the sights and bag some peaks. Rather than rough it in the back-country, we decided to allow ourselves the luxury of hot showers this time and booked a space in the Whistlers campground just outside of Jasper.

Yes, this is August (31st mind you) in the Rockies...Highway-side view from the Columbia Icefields en route to Jasper. Maybe a hotel in Jasper would have been a better idea than a tent?

TRAIN! Very exciting.

Our campsite at the Whistlers campground was well-suited to hosting guests.

According to Brianne, this is a "stand-up" animal. As pleasant as the campsite was, I was growing weary of not gaining any elevation so Brianne and I set off east down the highway with our hearts set on ascending Roche Miette.

Not a promising start to our scramble up historic Roche Miette.

Beautiful bluffs early on. Note to any scramblers passing by these bluffs. If you can see them, you're on the climber's ascent route NOT the scrambler's ascent route. If you’re looking to avoid this nasty alternate ascent route (I wish we had), don’t be too eager to take the first possible trail diverging right from the “track” that Kane describes. If one continues slightly further on the “track”, they would find a more substantial trail – this is the scrambling trail.

The weather rapidly deteriorating. The wind was gusting strong enough to knock you off your feet, which it did...a couple of times.

The climber's ascent route deposited us at the intimidating base of Roche Miette’s substantive cliffs. We were thus forced to regain the proper scramble route by ascending steep, nasty scree slopes in the Roche’s shadow.

Finally back on the proper scrambling route. There's still blue sky. Weather can't be that bad, right?

Rain to the north. Ruh roh.

Brianne ascending steep terrain near the summit of Roche Miette.

Jasper Lake beyond a chasm on the west face of Roche Miette.

Looking south along the broad summit plateau. There's a Breezy Goat tucked into the rocks somewhere in there...

A cold Breezy Goat shelters from the vicious wind on the summit plateau while I searched for the register.

Talbot Lake and Jasper Lake from the top(?) of Roche Miette. Although there are slightly higher points to the south on the summit plateau, the cairn and register live nearer to the north end's intimidating drop.

The Athabasca River rounds the bend at the Foot of Boule Roche out of the Rockies and onto the prairies.

A TRAIN! rounding the point.

Beaver Bluffs, Roche Bosche (who came up with that name, seriously?) and Roche Ronde across the valley.

Fiddle Peak and the valley up to Miette Hotsprings to the east.

A crocodile-shaped Mountain above Miette Hotsprings. Crocodiles are, apparently, not stand-up animals.

It was too windy to sign the summit register so I took a picture of it instead.

Sure-footed and making her way down steep terrain; trying desperately to get down before the weather got even worse!

On descent, we found the proper scrambler's route, which in addition to being significantly easier, granted much improved views of Roche Miette!

Our Roche and us.

Chilled to the bone by a freezing day on Roche Miette, we made our way to Miette hot springs as soon as we got down! This myatuck was the parking patrol that awaited us there!

All ready for the hot springs with a towel and a beer!