Serendipity Peak GR:633926

elevation: 2,666 m.  height gain: 1,070 m.
area: Kananaskis,AB
map 82 J/7

Ref: Soistheman's Digital Diary
approach ridge

Cresting on the approach ridge.
Scramble: RT 14.0 (includes Patterson's Peak); 6.0 up. I really wanted to ascend both Serendipity and Patterson's Peaks, I knew this day trip would be a long one. I wasn't sure if it would be possible to do both as snow was starting to accumulate even in the Front Ranges. I figured that if there was several of us trenching through the snow, we had a better chance. I sent out invites, sadly Jay couldn't join but Charles and Pawel were keen to give this one a try. We met early morning along highway 40 at the base of the climb. It was still dark when we started hiking up the grassy slope. As we proceeded towards the rocky outcrops, the slope got exceedingly steep; I knew this would bite on the descent... Luckily, the ground wasn't frozen rock solid and it was still possible to get good purchase. We gained visibility as we neared the rocky features, we went climber's left and found an easy way up onto the treed ridge crest. The snow was shallow, we worked our way along the ridge while discussing what should and shouldn't count on summit logs; it was nice to hear another climber's point of view. As we travelled further along the ridge, the snow increased but remained manageable. Distracted by great conversation, we overshot Serendipity's approach ridge by a short distance; good thing Pawel was quick to notice. We simply beelined to the right ridge from our location instead of backtracking, a sidehilling traverse in deeper snow ensued. Once on the proper ridge with the open slopes, we carried on to treeline. The terrain that lay ahead was slightly complex with snow. Progress slowed as we carefully worked our way towards Serendipity. Some sections over slabs were tricky and more snow cover would have rendered the ascent dangerous due to avalanche hazard as we couldn't always stick to the ridge crest. We managed the ascent without crampons despite considering putting them on at some point. The wind was chilling but it was quite satisfying to reach the summit. We discussed continuing to Patterson's Peak, Pawel was obviously ready to go on and so was I but Charles expressed doubt; he decided to turn around. He insured us that he was fine travelling back solo. Knowing that Charles has a good head on his shoulder, that he's well equipped and that we would be following behind, I agreed with this arrangement. We didn't stay on the summit long after that, Charles backtracked along the summit ridge while Pawel and I dipped down to a shallow saddle before sidehilling to Patterson's connecting ridge.

maclaren strachan muir

Mount MacLaren, Mounts Strachan and Muir (L to R).


Serendipity Peak is dwarfed by surrounding mountains.

west ridge

Serendipity's west ridge.

open slopes

The open slopes grant pleasant hiking.

epyriform s5

Pyriform S5 is the highest point between Head and Trap Creeks.

following the ridge crest

Following the ridge crest.

equestrian camp

There's an equestrian camp below, we can see horses and hear people.

mist mountain

Mist Mountain on the left.

reaching treeline

Reaching treeline.

looking back

Looking back.

view west

Mount Muir (far left), Mount McPhail (left of center) and Mount Bishop (right of center).

terrain is more complex

Above treeline, the terrain becomes slightly complex with snow.

sticking to the ridge crest

Sticking to the ridge proper whenever possible.

variable snow depth

Variable snow depth.

could be hazardous with more snow

Some sections would be hazardous with significant snow.

nearing the summit ridge

Nearing the summit ridge.

looking back again

Looking back again.

mount head

Mount Head to the south.

patterson's peak

The second objective of the day, Patterson's Peak.

view north

Pyriform S5 to the north.

charles and pawel

Charles and Pawel at the top.

Continue on to Patterson's Peak
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