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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