Hensley, Mount GR:296687

elevation: 2,820 m. height gain: 1,450 m.
area: David Thompson Highway,AB map 83 C/2

Drive to the David Thompson Highway 11 and park at the Timber Creek Bridge, 281625, 2.5 kilometers east of Thompson Creek Campground. We ascended on the west side of the creek through burnt timber and manageable deadfall. We crossed secondary outflows and paralleled the main drainage from above. About half way up, roughly 297660, we aimed for the creekbed. We bypassed a canyon climber's left, returning to the creekbed thereafter. Further travel in the gully is straightforward. The south-west aspect grants easy access to the top. On descent, we stayed in the creekbed almost all the way down; we circumvented occasional difficulties by climbing the west bank.
mount hensley
Mount Hensley (center).
burnt timber
Manageable deadfall with very little undergrowth.
Scramble: RT 13.0; 6.0 up. I noticed Mount Hensley from the highway a few years back. As we returned from Nordegg a couple of weeks ago, I had another good look; the ascent gully was filled with snow and the approach appeared snowfree to treeline, this prompted me to suggest it to Fab. I still favored my injured knee, I hoped for a long glissade to lessen the strain of going down. There was zero information about this objective on the internet, we plotted our way and hoped for the best. We parked on the side of the highway and started hiking along the west side of Timber Creek. The burnt forest offers some views, the price is plentiful deadfall; luckily, the tangled wood is manageable. We hiked the path of least resistance, keeping in mind the main drainage to our right. We followed a paralleling drainage on a rib for a while, travel was decent as we zigzagged and sometimes lost height to gain another rib; eventually we corrected our heading and aimed for the main drainage. After nearly 3 hours and about 5 kilometers, we descended to the creekbed. Travel was fine but we encountered a canyon shortly thereafter. We bypassed the canyon by climbing the west bank, we then returned to the creekbed. Within 15 minutes, we stood on firm avalanche debris. The snow filled the whole drainage, we were extremely pleased. We hiked with ease, enjoying the second half of the ascent. The uninterrupted snow gully led all the way to the ridge crest. Once on the ridge, the summit is not far away. We arrived at the top as some nasty looking weather shrouded the mountains north of us. We put on all our layers and watched the dark clouds skirt us. The temperature dropped close to zero as the snow fell; oddly enough, it wasn't that windy. We stayed over an hour before retracing our steps. I glissaded as much as possible. Beyond the canyon, we decided to stay in the creekbed. Travel was good at first but as we got lower, detours on the west bank became more frequent. We were quite happy to step on pavement and see the car. I can't believe I completed this trip without further injury to my knee; thank you God! lots of deadfall
Some sections have more deadfall...
following a rib
Following a rib.
paralleling the drainage
Travelling above the drainage.
at the creekbed
About half way, we went down to the creekbed.
Coming up to a canyon that we circumvented climber's left.
back to the creekbed
Descending to the creekbed after the small detour.
white boulder
The big white boulder in the middle of the creekbed is a good indicator for the detour upon return.
Shortly thereafter, snow appears in the drainage.
delightful for travel
The avalanche debris is firm and delightful for travel.
uninterrupted snow path
The snow path is uninterrupted; happy, happy, joy, joy!
what we hoped for
This is exactly what we were hoping for.
nearing the ridge crest
Nearing the ridge crest.
avoiding postholing
Spreading my weight on my poles to avoid postholing.
mount cline and whitegoat peaks
Mount Cline and Resolute Mountain to the left; Whitegoat Peaks in the background (center).
looking back
Looking back.
reaching the top
Reaching the top with ominous weather to the north.
weather station
The unofficial weather station.
it's snowing
The dark clouds skirted us, the temperature dropped and it's now snowing.
view north-west
View north-west.
leaving the top
Leaving the top.
sunny again
The sun is shining again.
heading to the snow
Heading to the snow on the soft shale, which is also nice.
Glissading, one of my favorite things.
very enjoyable
Thoroughly enjoying the continuous highway of snow.
end of the good stuff
All good things must come to an end...
circumventing the canyon
Circumventing the canyon.
lower creekbed
The creekbed much lower down.
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