Approx. 350 total
6 hours total
- Technical: 1.5
(alpine 2.5 with bushwhacking)
the snow had definitely fallen in K Country. However, in Calgary there was no
hint of snow so, naively, I assumed that the snow accumulation in K Country would be relatively minor. My original plan was to try GR436425 and maybe a connecting peak as Matt and I had failed to summit this
peak during the summer with our dogs. When I drove up Powderface Trail I knew
I was in trouble as the snow stacked on each side of the road was, in parts, close to the height of my car roof! When I arrived at Canyon Creek I had no where to park due to the snow drifts so I just plunked the car
on the road. I knew from the start that snow shoes would be required to make
any progress but having left them at home, I was determined to give it a try anyway.
The post-holing started immediately in the mid-thigh level wet snow. It
took about an hour to cover the distance that I could have done in 10 minutes in the dry.
I gave up and returned to the car deciding that I’d continue to drive further North down Powderface Trail and
see if someone had packed down a trail on the easy hike up to Jumping Pound (which, incidentally, has some great
views and, if combined with Cox Hill or Moose Mountain can make for an interesting, if not strenuous day).
At the Jumping
Pound trail head (I have done this route twice before including a winter ascent) it appeared that someone had braved
the snow before me so I followed their path for a ways until it stopped at a bridge with a massive conifer having fallen over
under the heavy wet snow load. In the dry this would have been no obstacle but
given the swelling creek, the fallen tree and the thigh deep, wet snow there would have been an epic battle to be fought to
get to the summit. I turned around and went back to the car for the second time
Determined to climb something, anything,
I stopped at the northern terminus of Powderface Trail and headed straight up the first bump I could find. Bushwhacking through some now rapidly melting snow on south slopes I encountered a trail that had some
foot prints on it. I followed it up a ways to a nice little lookout that I later
learned was called Deer Ridge. I spent a good hour in the warm sun and soaked in the views.