Wendell, East Peak GR:307676

elevation: 2,294 m. height gain: 1,200 m.
area: Exshaw,AB map 82 O/3

Ref: Andrew Nugara's More Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies 2nd edition
ascending yamnuska

Ascending Yamnuska Shoulder on the well-used trail.
Scramble: RT 9.5; 5.0 up. It's been a mild and dry winter, the Front Ranges were quite dry until a storm brought 20 cm of snow to the Eastern Rockies. We had planned to attempt the East Peak of Wendell on sunday but decided to wait a day for better road conditions and a much warmer day. The roads were almost dry and the sun was shinning on Yamnuska monday morning. We hiked on frozen ground and snow as the temperature rose steadily. The delightful trail led us to the shoulder of Yamnuska in a little over an hour. Once on the crest, at an opening, a subtle wooden sign points towards CMC Valley. We didn't find the horse trail that heads down into CMC Valley right away; like on our previous trip, we stumbled upon it. The beginning of this trail is difficult to find with snow coverage as it angles to the left (west) and traverses before heading down. In the valley, we travelled on the southern aspect and eventually picked up a good trail that traverses below the impressive rockwalls. Shortly after passing some rock pinnacles, we rounded the corner and started climbing towards the weakness in the rockwall. The short scramble leading to the slab traverse was tricky as it was wet and icy; the rest of the scramble to the summit ridge was straightforward. We enjoyed the trek on the ridge, it was warm. We sat at the top for a good long break before returning the same way. Instead of backtracking the initial icy bit, we chose a scree line (see picture). The frozen scree had loosened and granted a reasonable descent. Finding the trail back up Yamnuska was really easy, we just followed our track. We carried on to the truck on a slushy trail, feeling happy about today.
trail to cmc valley

Going down to CMC Valley on a trail that is difficult to find.

creek crossing

Crossing the creek to an old road on the other side.

sunny side

Leaving the old road to sidehill on the sunny side.

near pinnacles

On a good trail heading to some pinnacles.

around the corner

Continuing around the corner on the trail.

going up scree

Starting the ascent following a trail up a scree slope.

weakness in rockband

We aimed for the weakness in the rockband, in between the two large boulders (center).

icy sections

A bit tricky with wet, icy sections.

looking back

Looking back at the crux.

dry slab

Dry slab facilitates the traverse.

aiming for the wall

We continued towards the towering upper wall.

traversing below the wall

Traversing below the wall.

summit ridge

Very pleasant summit ridge.

reaching the top

Reaching the top.

wendell mountain

Wendell Mountain.

at the top

Fabrice and the southern view.

heading back

Heading back down.

below the wall

Below the upper wall.

down some scree

Descending in the scree.

bypassing crux

Bypassing the initial scrambly bit, notice the faint trail ahead.


Ascent in red and descent in green.

down loose scree

The scree has loosened enough for a good descent.

snow is melting

The snow is melting fast.


The pinnacles.


Backtracking in full sunshine.

crossing the creek

Crossing the creek.
Back to home page