Cordonnier, Mount

elevation: 3,021 m. height gain: 250 m. (from Warrior Ridge)
area: Kananaskis,AB map 82 J/11
2011-Sep-05


Ref: Alan Kane's Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies on the connecting ridge
Starting our traverse over to Mount Cordonnier following a sow and cub's footprints.
Scramble: RT 12.0 (including Warrior Mountain); 1.5 up from Warrior's summit. Mount Cordonnier is definitely more challenging than Warrior. I though that if I made it across the connecting ridge, the rest would be easy but it wasn't. The crux on the connecting ridge is short and a ledge facilitates the traverse. We were very lucky that the recent snow had melted. How momma bear and her cub got across facinates us. Thinking about that little cub, perhaps overwhelmed, prompted me to continue. The ridge gets broader and an easy trek leads to a false summit. Although the route from here is not technical, some exposed sections require vigilance. Aware of the hazard, I found myself having to straddle a narrow bit; I didn't really like that!!! Just after, a steep short slab gave way to easier terrain. In little time, we reached the top. This is the best view on Mount Joffre which is now displaying a very good up-track. We stayed for a short while, the wind was annoying and I couldn't settle down until the exposed sections were behind me... The summit ridge wasn't easier on the way back. The downsloping slabs made me hunch and I straddled the narrow bit again while Fab was able to walk across it. Once it was done, I felt a sense of accomplishment and I started to unwind. We took a nice, somewhat sheltered, break near the top of the alternate descent. We were happy; the weather was fantastic and we had just ascended three peaks this weekend. We still had a long way to go before reaching the parking lot though, hence we got up and began our descent down the long snow slope. We glissaded with difficulty as the snow was punchy, still the short-cut was worthwhile. On the moraine below, we surprisingly stepped onto a crude trail which leads to the flats. We dried our feet near a creek where we also replenished our water bottles. After having lunch, we spotted the sow and cub again as we hiked towards Aster Lake. They were far up on the slopes opposite to us, we watched them and said goodbye. Returning on a good trail was pleasant. We enjoyed the afternoon sun all the way down the scree mountainside and once around Hidden Lake, we got another glimpse of sunshine. Back on the main trail, Fab engaged in an fiery pace; we got to the car within an hour! sheer west side
The drop on the west side is dramatic.
crux on connecting ridge
The crux of the connecting ridge.
ledge in the slab
A ledge in the slab eases the traverse.
grizzly mom and cub came this way
A look back at the slab. And yes, momma and baby bear came this way!
easier terrain
This section is pleasant.
a look back
Another look back with Warrior Mountain and Mount Northover (right).
false summit ahead
False summit ahead.
summit ridge
Finally, on the summit ridge.
slab section
Glad there is no snow on this slab section.
airy bit
The slab is interrupted by an airy narrow bit.
minutes away
The summit cairn, minutes away.
at the top
Third summit this weekend; greatest view of Mount Joffre!
western view
North end of Shatch Mountain to the west.
summit ridge
Cordonnier's summit ridge is impressive.
leaving the top
Leaving the top.
another crux
This short segment of steep slab leads to the narrow bit.
airy and narrow
Fab cautiously walked the ridge but I chose to straddle it...
chockstone
Carefully walking across the chockstone.
slab walkway
This slab is barely inclined.
not so easy!
Cordonnier's summit ridge has exposed sections.
ready for the alternate descent
Happy to boot down the alternate descent.
here we go
Here we go!
long snow slope
The fast way down.
not the best glissade
Tough to glissade in the punchy snow.
amazing view of warrior
An amazing view of Warrior Mountain and its connecting ridge.
a glimpse at our tracks
A glimpse at our tracks down the alternate descent.
moraine landscape
Beautiful moraine landscape, complete with small tarns.
crude trail
To our surprise, a crude trail exists on the moraine.
boots off
Replenishing the water bottles and taking our boots off for a while.
east shore of aster
The trail on the east shore of Aster Lake.
heading out
Packed up, we head out of this wonderful area. Bye bye grizzlies!
descent to hidden lake
The trail is visible along the mountainside.
chasing the sun
Chasing the sun around Hidden Lake.
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