Limestone Mountain

elevation: 2,180 m. height gain: 630 m.
area: Kananaskis,AB map 82 J/14
2012-Jan-08


Ref: Sonny Bou's website next to the ascent ridge
Parked next to the north-west ascent ridge.
Scramble: RT 6.0; 3.0 up. This small outlier is a good outing for this time of the year. It is a short trip granting shelter from the wind for most of the way. Our intent was to ascend the north-west ridge that comes right down to the highway; we parked north of the bluff that runs along the road. We chose to follow a beaten path along an old road, thinking it might lead to the ascent ridge further. It soon veered in the light timber heading towards the ridge but instead of climbing, the trail parallels the ridge heading in the draw; we got suspicious this wasn't going where we wanted to go... but as it started to ascend towards the ridge again, we followed. After a steep climb, a nice wall of ice revealed itself; this is a trail for ice climbers. We continued and tried to reach the crest of the ridge. We skirted the rockband climber's right and picked our way up some steep treed terrain through deep snow. This grueling effort quickly leads to the ridge, little over half way. Travelling was better, from knee-deep drifts to bare rock. Without snowshoes, we made our way to the summit mound. The last 200 meters of elevation were wind scoured, it looked more challenging. With enthusiasm, we proceeded on grippy textured rock. We enjoyed some sections of easy scrambling despite the wind. At the top, we carefully put on extra layers, trying to avoid losing items to the strong wind gusts. After a quick rest and taking pictures, we started descending. Beyond the summit mound, our return was sheltered. We followed our bushwhack back down to the wall of ice, now occupied by some climbers. following a trail
We followed a beaten path starting on an old road.
skirting a rockband
We skirted the rockband past the wall of ice.
the rockband dwindles
Shortly after, the rockband dwindles to steep treed terrain.
on the ascent ridge
Midway on the ascent ridge, snow depth is variable.
summit mound
The summit mound.
a bit of scrambling ahead
Ahead, we went climber's left to gain the crest of the ridge.
looking back
Looking back along the north-west ridge.
very windy
It's much windier on the summit mound.
almost there
Almost there.
bare rock on the windward side
Sticking to the windward side where the rock is bare.
last bit
Stumbling sideways up the last bit.
summit cairn is visible
The summit cairn is visible, The Wedge in the background.
mount kidd
Mount Kidd, one of my favorites.
at the top
Prepared for the mild blustery wind at the top.
heading down
Heading down.
back in the trees
Below the summit mound, the wind is greatly reduced.
backtracking
Backtracking down our bushwhack, much easier.
the ice waterfall
The wall of ice.
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