Head, Mount

elevation: 2,782 m. height gain: 1,465 m.
area: South Kananaskis,AB map 82 J/7
2012-Jun-30


Ref: Sonny Bou's scrambles archive pack trail coulee
Pack Trail Coulee to Grass Pass.
Scramble: RT 12.0; 6.0 up. The weather forecast was promising in Kananaskis Country compared to here. After such a bleak June, Fab and I were quite willing to drive a combined 7 hours to go visit Mount Head. We left early and reached Sentinel parking lot before 9 AM. The hike in was pleasant despite some muddy sections. After losing height from Grass Pass, we arrived at the approach drainage. We followed a faint trail left of the creek but soon crossed over to the north side where we found more faint trails. The bushwhacking is simple, there isn't much deadfall and the terrain lends itself to easy travelling. Further up the draw, the drainage narrows; at a waterfall, we started to ascend the south-east ridge. Once on the ridge crest, we had a clear view of the upper mountain. We traversed and climbed to the base of the middle sub-peak. From there, the summit ridge looks straightforward. The sky over Mount Head had been grey throughout the day but as we neared the top, it darkened dramatically. We continued along the ridge and came to a short easy slab section. The fun part ended all too soon as we reached the summit. Almost instantly, it started to drizzle. That didn't dampen our spirits, we put on an extra layer and hung out for 45 minutes before heading out. We decided to come down the drainage instead of traversing back to the ridge. This nice option leads back to the waterfall lower down. Then, we casually backtracked along the creek and once on the main trail, we took another long break. We were both looking forward to returning on the well-trodden trail. This outing is long but not difficult. at the pass
At the pass, we get a good look at Mount Head (left center).
cows
Numerous lovely cows, we don't want to scare them.
good travelling
Off the main trail, there's good travelling on game trails along the creek's north side.
further up the draw
Further up the draw, a waterfall prompts us to start climbing.
south-east ridge
Ascending the south-east ridge, we'll skirt left at the bluffs (top right).
climbing along a rockband
We keep climbing along the rockband instead of traversing.
heading for the break
There's an easy break climber's left of the hightpoint.
crest of the south-east ridge
Crest of the south-east ridge; we are aiming for the tiny snow patch, west of the middle sub-peak.
traversing
We traversed towards the top of the bigger waterfall.
at the middle sub-peak
West side of the middle sub-peak with the summit ridge ahead.
along the ridge
Along the summit ridge.
just before the top
Just before the summit, there's a short easy slab section.
summit in sight
The summit is in sight.
at the top
At the top, it starts to drizzle but we still hang out!
holy cross
The connecting ridge to Holy Cross Mountain.
leaving the top
Leaving the top.
looking down on the approach
A good view of the easy south-east ridge and the upper draw.
using the snow
Using the snow on descent.
break at the waterfall
Back at the top of the waterfall; another break, with sun this time.
down the drainage
We continued down the drainage instead of traversing back to the ridge.
going around a rockband
Going around the rockband.
more snow
More snow.
last glimpse
Staying in the drainage eliminates some of the sidehiling.
fossil
Nice fossil.
continuing down the drainage
Continuing down the drainage.
waterfalls
Some waterfalls along the way.
back on the main trail
Back on Pack Trail Coulee.
more cows
Perfect area for the cows.
grass pass
Grass Pass.
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