Snow Peak

elevation: 2,800 m. height gain: 895 m.
area: Kananaskis,AB map 82 J/14
2008-Nov-09


Ref: Bob Spirko's Road not taken snow peak
Snow Peak.
Scramble: RT 6.0; 3.5 up. A rewarding trip considering the uncertainty of snow coverage. The trail to Burstall Pass is a popular outing even at this time of the year. It is compacted nicely all the way to the pass where it suddenly becomes less consolidated for anyone continuing on. From there the windblown southern ascent slope offered decent travelling. Snow pockets were mostly firm or no more than knee deep. Visibility going up was next to nil at times but did not hinder the straightforward plod to the false summit. A little further, I stood on a high point, in total white out. The ridge diped and I couln't see it climb to a higher prominence; I wondered "is this it?". The absence of a cairn made me suspicious so down the ridge I went, blindly and somewhat uncertain! Shortly thereafter, I got a glimpse of the ridge ahead and the summit cairn. At the top I did not get to see the beautiful surrounding mountains, instead I was delighted by impressive cloud formations. I started back down quickly and took the only official break of this trip in the trees, just below the pass. I enjoyed the scenery on the way back but made good time, eager to meet up with Fab and the hounds. Thanks again for taking such good care of the doggies...., and me! gravel flats
Gravel flats.
commonwealth
Commonwealth Peak.
robertson glacier
Robertson Glacier.
trail after flats
The trail heads in the forest towards the upper flats.
upper flats
The upper flats before the short ascent to Burstall Pass.
trail to the pass
The snow on the trail is fairly compacted.
closer to snow peak
Snow Peak on the way to the pass.
magnificent trio
Magnificent trio: Birdwood, Pig's Tail and Commonwealth (left to right).
lost visibility
Losing visibility with height gain.
burstall pass
Looking back at Burstall Pass from the ascent slope.
summit cairn
The summit cairns.
awesome clouds
Awesome cloud formation.
connecting ridge
The connecting ridge to the false summit.
lower ascent slope
Lower down on the ascent slope visibility returns.
the approach
The approach.
trail through gravel flats
Well marked trail through the gravel flats.
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