Monad Peak GR: 760535

elevation: 2,552 m. height gain: 840 m.
area: South Kananaskis,AB map 82 J/1-2
2015-Oct-11


Drive to the Forestry Trunk Road, highway 940, via highway 40 (Highwood Pass) or highway 532 (Longview); these roads are subject to seasonal road closures!! Locate Isolation Creek, 837550, and park. Ford the Livingstone River and follow the ATV trail along the creek to the foot of Monad Peak, about 9 kilometers. Gain the saddle at the south end of the ridge and head north along the summit ridge to the top. finally parked
Finally parked next to the Livingstone River.
Hike: RT 7.0; 3.5 up. At last, my 400th unique summit (excluding ridges) after over 20 years of scrambling!!! I chose this trip because I was adamant about sharing this milestone with my hounds. They've been very patient and have compromised numerous walks staying at home alone while we played in the mountains. This summer was especially difficult on them as most of our day trips were extremely long. They have a really good set up at home with access to an outdoor fenced pen and several neighboring dogs they can bark with but they are never fond of our long absence and tension between them always arises when we return. Hence, this was meant to be a feel good camping trip for all of us and a big thank you to my furries!

Lincoln started to get excited when we got the camping gear out and packed the truck, he leaped in there and wouldn't come out... Early morning the following day, we left for the long drive through Highwood Pass towards the Livingstone Range. We drove to where we had crossed the Livingstone River in 2012 to ascend Isola Peak; the blue bridge wasn't there anymore. We scoped the shore and noticed a crossing used by ATVs. Fabrice unloaded the quad and we all hopped on; we crossed the shallow river without getting wet and carried on without incident for the first 5 kilometers. The ATV trail soon deteriorated and required for the dogs and myself to disembark a couple of times to grant Fab some maneuverability; I basically walked the last 2 kilometers with the dogs. Once parked at the foot of the mountain, we enjoyed a short casual walk in the sun to the saddle on the summit ridge. The grassy terrain was great for the dogs. As we neared the saddle, we could hear the wind howling; the forecasted gale winds were battering the west side of the summit ridge and that's where we were heading... At the saddle, the wind was so strong that I felt like it was sucking the air out of my lungs. We continued, bracing ourselves countless times. The dogs didn't seem to mind the wind at first but soon got chilled. The race was on to reach the top at the far end so we could stop briefly and cover the dogs. The wind and rockier terrain made me re-question my goal, once again it looked like the dogs were victims of my folly... We sheltered them for a quick break at the top while we took pictures and signed the geocache; we then left in a hasty fashion. Back at the saddle, on the sheltered side, we laid down blankets and fleeces for the hounds. They ate kibbles and had water before naptime. We soaked in the sun with snoring dogs by our side; now that was more like what I had envisioned! We returned when the dogs awoke and got restless. All went well and we arrived at our great camping spot before dark. While Fab prepared the doggies' meal, I started a fire and put the cushions and blankies next to it. We enjoyed a fantastic night by the fire, watching the stars and our sleepy happy hounds.
lincoln approves
Lincoln approves of the camping spot.
wash out
A washed out section along Isolation Creek's ATV trail.
rough atv trail
Bits of the trail are rocky and rugged; in other places, it's slick and rutted!
leaving the atv behind
Leaving the ATV behind.
isola peak
Isola Peak, north-east of us; the dogs accompanied us on that trip too!
mon bébé ru
P'tit bébé Ru XX.
sheltered from the wind
Almost at the saddle, we're still sheltered from the wind.
at the saddle
We can hear the insane wind battering the western side of the ridge.
summit at the far end
The geocache summit is at the far end of the ridge, past the dark sub-peaks.
very windy
I don't think Lincoln is impressed with the wind.
twin peaks
Twin Peaks to the south from a sub-peak.
400th summit
Dogs are present for my 400th unique summit!
looking west
Looking west towards Mount Lyall.
brief summit stay
Sheltering the dogs but we're not staying long.
leaving the top
Leaving the top.
staying on grassy terrain
Plodding on grassy terrain below the ridge.
over the saddle
Over the saddle and back on the lee side.
time to go
After a long break sheltered in the sun, shade is upon us and it's time to go.
off the quad
Off the quad at a couple of places.
best r and r
Best R&R !
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