Yesterday, amid rain in Calgary and blustery wind, snow and ice pellets in Kananaskis, I decided to head to the mountains to see what I could climb. Originally planning hike up either Mt. Tyrwitt or another one, Tent Ridge (near Mount Shark in Peter Lougheed Park) along the Smith-Dorrien Road. Choosing the first on the way, I arrived in the area of Tent Ridge shortly after 11am. After seeing the snowfall and the accumulations on the ridge and nearby Mount Shark, I decided to pick another spot. After heading into Peter Lougheed Park through Canmore, I couldn’t help but notice how the mountains in Canmore were still relatively snow
free. So, I made a u-turn and headed back to Canmore to climb the east end of Mount Rundle. When I arrived at Rundle, it was 5C and the occasional sunny break would peek through the clouds. A few times, the sun would break through the moving cloud, almost like shedding a moving spotlight across the mountain. It was quite neat.
I took a little side adventure on the way up, choosing to stick closer to the cliffs while on the east side of the mountain. This provided some fun scrambling up over rock and there was a slight cutoff trail to boot. As I headed up the main ridge, the wind started pounding away. Last time we were on this mountain, I remember the weather was very changeable. However, this time,
the weather gradually got worse the higher I went, but it was relatively snow/ice free and just a real heavy wind. I continued to the ridge-line and enjoyed scrambling over the rock-band nearing the summit ridge. I took Alan Kane’s route up the scree, rather than Daffern’s ridge-line approach due to the high wind.
On top, there were two summit blocks one slightly higher than the other. I noticed that both
books I read on the mountain have ‘competing’ summit descriptions (as if it’s a HUGE deal). Nevertheless, I went to both of them — more fun hands on scrambling. Because the wind was picking up again on the summit and my camera batteries were dying, I made a few quick snapshots of the summit panorama
. Thankfully, there was a little enclave made out of rocks, so I hunkered there for a few snacks before heading down. Despite a windless lunch, the trip down was probably the windiest trip down a mountain I’ve experienced so far. I couldn’t believe how at times I would have to lean forward at an angle just to head down the slopes and scree. I was happy to reach the tree line for some shelter and to ease my wind burnt face a bit, also escaping the stinging ice pellets. It was a quick hike, just over 3 hours.
After warming up a bit in the car and owing to tradition, I headed to the town for a quick brew and snack at the Grizzly Paw. Their micro-brewed beer is fairly good, especially the seasonal pumpkin beer! More photos on flickr.