On Thursday this week, I attempted another scramble in the Bow Valley area — the traverse of Mt. Yamnuska. After the great weather I had last week in relatively the same area, near Mt. Baldy — I had hoped for similar conditions, but was a bit disappointed when I arrived at the trail-head. If you could believe that last week, the weather was sunny and 20C in the morning…and this week, well it hovered around -5 and snow.
By the time I got to the trail, about 7 centimetres had fallen on the ground in fresh wet snow. I was eager to try the hike anyway, as the mountain conditions did not look all that bad. After attaining the ridge to the main mountain, I realized that the entire rear portion of the mountain was snowbound…with 1/2 foot to a foot in places. The terrain looked to be pretty straight forward…and with little snow accumulation beyond the recent snowfall, I continued up one of the scree slopes — basically to see what I could see.
As I got higher, the weather changed frequently and it began to snow heavily. Going became more treacherous the higher I went as well…making a summit climb this day a bit beyond what I was prepared for. I didn’t want to be caught on the summit in a whiteout, so I called it a day. At one point while I was taking a break, a strong wind blew in from the north making a very strange noise as it pushed up the mountain. I looked down…and saw a literal wall of snow being pushed upward….and the temperature dropped at least 5-10C within a minute. Very strange. That was the last straw for this hike! Just looking at the first picture and the second one, you can see the changeable weather.
Strangely enough, the weather at the parking lot was hot and sunny. Wait five minutes I guess!Nevertheless, I was glad to at least get some views from the lower ridge…and a good scouting mission for a time well into summer with no snow! It’s a great mountain for views of the foothills and plains that stretch from the Rockies to Calgary…I’ll be excited for a return trip.