Lougheed, Mount

elevation: 3,107 m. height gain: 1,400 m.
area: Smith-Dorrien/Spray Area,AB map 82 J/14
2010-Jul-04


Ref:  -Willi's Homepage and
        -Bob Spirko's Road not taken

very good trail


Along Spencer Creek.
Scramble: RT 8.5; 4.25 up. This scramble was bitter-sweet. As we drove towards our objective, it was clear the weather would not be nice at all. The clouds were dark and low, accompanied by a nagging wind. We decided to take a gamble and start up the trail. Once at the back of the draw, it started to drizzle. With 1000 meters to go, summiting was doubtful. We continued up the grassy slope to the scree cone. The wind was drying the moisture off our pants, leaving us chilled but dry. After climbing for a while, we reached the top of the cone; the way is obvious from here. I asked Fab if he wanted to continue, without much enthusiasm he said he'd follow... Therefore, up the notch and onto the upper slopes we went. With reduced visibility, we climbed to the summit ridge. The lingering snow was stiff due to cool temperatures. With no crampons, we had to kick into the slope several times to get a good step in. We each took a turn at this knee-bashing experience. Finally, on the summit ridge, we blindly walked towards the obscured summit. I was glad to see the cairn and register confirming the top. The view from this lofty summit is exquisite I'm sure. Nevertheless, today, I'm happy just to be here, despite miserable conditions. I snapped a couple of pictures and we instantly left the top. Our retreat down was with little pause. At treeline, next to a huge rock, we had our first real break. Although this trip was miserable (the bitter part), I couldn't help but to feel thankful we had been granted a straightforward ascent up Mount Lougheed (the sweet part).
straightforward

Further up, we hiked on the creek bed.

amphitheater

Nearing the back of the draw.

neat slab here


Looking back down the drainage.


1000 m. of height gain to go


We ascended the grassy slope ahead.


scree cone


Getting closer to the top of the scree cone.


miserable weather


Just below cloud level, dealing with blowing snow.


the way is obvious


I soon start to look for the traverse to the notch.


momentarily sheltered against a rock


Just one long scree slope.


look for the cairn


A big cairn (above the snow) indicates the weakness up the rib and into the next bowl.


no more visibility


The upper mountain is still snowbound.


where's the top?


Great visibility on the summit ridge.


at the top


At the top, really?


the register and survey pin


This is it! No view and my fingers are too numb to open and sign the register...


heading back down


Hasty but careful retreat down the stiff snow.


visibility improves


One last look towards the upper slopes.


very windy


The wind is fierce.


quick descent


Below the notch, visibility returns but the wind remains.


we need a break


Maybe the trees will shelter us for our first real break?


fab takes a nap


Feeling beaten down!


we're still dry, yeah


Back on the trail, easy cruisin'.
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