Shunga-La-She GR:583052

elevation: 2,625 m. height gain: 1,040 m.
area: Kananaskis,AB map 82 J/10
2014-May-25


Ref: Vern Dewit's Explor8ion
service road


On the service road paralleling the Sheep River.
Scramble: RT 9.0; 4.25 up. This spring has been cool and snow is melting slowly; we decided to head to the Front Ranges, hoping for a good snowfree scramble. We had a couple of challenges: the possibility of a missing bridge and my recently sprained knee. Honestly, there was a lot of uncertainty about whether we would even make it on that mountain... Despite that, Charles decided to tag along for the adventure. Following a 4-hour drive through Turner Valley, we made it to the Bluerock parking lot. To our dismay, a sign indicated some bridges were out. After such a long drive, we ventured on the trail to investigate anyway; we were hoping that the bridge we needed to cross was intact, we figured it would be fine being sturdy and quite high above the Sheep River. When we got to the bridge, it didn't look quite right; it was ribboned off, sagging in the middle and dangling at the ends. We decided to cross it at our own risk. Once on the other side, we started climbing the light timbered slope towards our objective. We came across tons of blue flagging. At treeline, we encountered some snow; I followed the boys' footsteps tentatively, trying to avoid postholing at all cost. We climbed a steep snow slope to gain the ridge and that was it for snow, the rest of the climb appeared snowfree. I was thrilled because travelling on soft snow in my present shape did not evoke confidence; the last thing I wanted to do was cause more injury to my damaged knee. We followed the interesting ridge on or near the crest. There is numerous small dips and some moderate scrambly bits, I was glad the rock was dry and granted good footing. Once on the summit, we took a nice break to enjoy the view. I was apprehensive about going down; I knew that would prove to be the most difficult part, I still couldn't walk down stairs properly. I warned Fab and Charles, they encouraged me to take the time I needed for a safe descent. Hence, it took longer to go down than up... These guys were so gallant and patient. I felt like I had been a bit unreasonable coming here in this condition but I focused on the task and managed to make it down without further injury. Back on the road, my feeling of being unreasonable turned to jubilation; I was so delighted to have made it. I thanked my partners for their patience and counted my lucky stars. Overall, this was another fine day in the mountains!

bridge

We crossed the bridge at our own risk!

off the bridge

Coming off the bridge safely.

light timber

Ascending light timbered slopes.

very little snow


Very little snow, so far so good.


snow slope


Some snow at treeline, just before we reach the ascent ridge.


dry land


Onto dry land again.


circumventing difficulties


Circumventing this feature climber's right.


first highpoint


Making our way to the first highpoint.


travelling near the ridge crest


Travelling below the slabs.


some scrambling


Some scrambling to gain the highpoint.


beyond the highpoint


Beyond the highpoint; Sunga-La-She is to the far left, to the right is a higher unnamed peak.


fun bits


Fun bits here and there.


nearing the false summit


Nearing the false summit.


true summit ahead


I'm happy to see the true summit ahead.


at the top


At the top.


good summit stay


Enjoying a good summit stay.


highwood peak


Highwood Peak (left of center) to the south.


leaving the top


Leaving the top.


trailing behind


I'm trailing behind with my wooden leg...


slow progress


Slow progress is better than no progress!


view north


Bluerock Mountain is visible behind an unnamed peak north of us.


retracing our steps


Retracing our steps around the initial feature.


final crux


Final crux!
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