Saturday, October 28 was shaping up to be very pleasant. Serendipity with a traverse to Patterson's Peak has been on my radar for many years and seemed like a perfect late season trip. I tried recruiting my usual trip partners but in the end this ended up being a solo venture. I didn't mind. It was a fitting way to end my scrambling season and I was in the mood for some solitude.
On Wednesday, September 27 2017 I was joined by Trevor Boyce for an easy hike and traverse of Odlum Ridge, deep in Kananaskis Country just east of the Continental Divide and south of Highwood Pass. Our plan was to take advantage of the great weather with views of larches and aesthetic mountains in the background. We were not disappointed!
There are a few trip reports available online for Lougheed I, but for obvious reasons there are many more for the much easier and official summit of Lougheed II (usually with a no-brainer traverse to III). The trip reports I could find are all part of a traverse from peak I to II, either as a scramble or an alpine climb.
After cancelling plans for a trip up the Icefields Parkway due to a last minute weather change, Phil Richards and I were at a bit of a loss what to replace it with. We were wary about forest fire smoke as the views from Lyautey are pretty stellar. Staying home seemed like a cop-out so we settled on a 07:00 departure time from the Interlakes parking lot instead.
KC and I awoke to yet another day of brilliant sunshine at the Lake of the Horns, on the last day of our 5 day backpacking trip along the south Highwood peaks on the Great Divide. Our plans for the day would be to follow a horse outfitters trail that was rumored to circle towards our last peak of the trip - The Hill of the Flowers.
After a few intense days of backpacking and scrambling five summits, Kaycie and I were ready for a relaxing day by a gorgeous and remote backcountry lake. Lake of the Horns is situated in a deep bowl between Mount McPhail and Horned Mountain along the Great Divide in the southern Elk Range of the Canadian Rockies.
After a nice, relaxing day spent ascending Mount Strachan before chilling at Carnarvon Lake, Kaycie and I woke up early on Monday morning to tackle Mount Muir and our highline traverse to Weary Creek Gap. The idea was to take full backpacks up and over Mount Muir and down towards Weary Creek Gap which would be our home for another night.
After approaching Carnarvon Lake via Carnarvon Creek and setting up camp, KC and I completed the easy scramble up nearby Mount MacLaren. We made the decision to traverse under the false peak of MacLaren towards the first peak on the traverse to Mount Shankland.
The route up MacLaren started straight out of our tent on the western edge of the lovely Carnarvon Lake, and soon KC and I were grunting up grass and scree on the lower part of the ridge above the lake. It was hot and it was windy. It felt wonderful to have pretty light packs on after our lengthy approach that morning.
After enjoying a Kane difficult scramble on Divide Mountain with Liz and Mike on Friday, I choose to go solo on a Nugara difficult for Saturday, July 8 2017. Mount McGillivray has been on my hit list for many years already. I first heard of it in 2003 when the Nugara brothers attempted it from the east. I don't know how many times I've driven past the mountain over the last 14 years, wondering why the heck I hadn't done it already?! It was time to find out.
On Friday, June 09 2017 I managed to summit Mount Head in the Highwood Range of the front range Rockies with Wietse and Kev Papke. Exactly ten years previous, to the day, I scrambled up Mount Head's southern neighbor, Holy Cross Mountain, also with Wietse. Also, almost ten years to the day, was the first time I became aware of the scrambling on Mount Head when some friends did it and reported back.
With avalanche conditions at "considerable" in the alpine, we had several different options for the weekend of January 21 2017. We could ski something below the alpine, go xcountry or resort skiing, or hike something in the front ranges. Dave Salahub had been trying to con Wietse into a day scramble up Zypher Creek Hills (aka Miller Creek Hills) for a few years already.
After summitting Isola in some strong and cold west winds, we turned our attention to Monad Peak, lying to the west and slightly south of Isola. Considering our heavy philosophical discussions of the day, "Monad" is appropriately named after a fascinating Pythagorean world view that was steeped in a cosmology of mathematics where the world is seen as existing solely on the backs of numbers.
Ever since snowshoeing and hiking up Monola Peak in extremely strong winds and a fair amount of snow back in 2012 on November 18th, I had a trip filed away in the back of my mind that would entail both Isola and Monad Peaks to the south and west of Monola.