Yesterday, I wanted the best of both worlds — to sleep in on a day off and do a hike. So, Prairie
Mountain was a great choice. Prairie Mountain is a good off-season destination, located in Kananaskis Provinical Park, just past the Elbow Falls parking lot. Because the road to K-Country is under seasonal closure, I usually try to find alternative hikes near the gated roads to the mountain areas, as far in as I can get. [I’m also not keen (or trained) for avalanche terrain, so I generally stick to the eastern slopes and ridges at this time of year.] Today, the start of this hike is only 200m from the gate. I realized that I’ve hiked areas near this mountain, but never on it. From another climber’s site, it seemed to provide a neat panorama at the top, which was just
what I was looking for in the day.
So, I drove to Kananaskis and started at 12:30, summitting in just over an hour of a consistent
steep climb through pine forest. Occasionally, the forest would break free for a great view of the east or west. As I got to the top however, I really began to the feel the wind [the winds have been high in the mountains lately] and eventually donned a balaclava so I could enjoy the summit views
and take pictures. The final ridge climb reminded me a lot of Sentinel Pass near Highwood. I put quite a few photos on flickr.