Table Mountain

elevation: 2,225 m.  height gain: 765 m.
area: Castle Wilderness,AB map 82 G/8
2016-Nov-12


Ref: Bob Spirko's Road not taken
trailhead


Trailhead.
Scramble: RT 5.5; 2.5 up. The Castle region grants a long hiking season and offers several objectives of varying difficulty and length, it is well worth the drive. After travelling to Montana yesterday, I had planned a visit here to scramble on saturday and sunday. I spent the night in Pincher Creek next to the A&W, a convenient location for food and WIFI. The forecast called for rain most of saturday and Chinook winds. During the night the truck was rattled by unbelievable wind gusts, it was impressive. The following morning it was still very windy and the sky was covered up, I trusted Table Mountain was a good choice considering the weather. I drove to the trailhead as it started drizzling; there was no one there, I put on my windbreaker and got on the way. The trail is easy to follow, I made it to the breach in the rockband in good time. An easy scramble got me atop the rockband where I found trail segments climber's right of the drainage. Once above the steep drainage, I found a well marked trail. I followed the trail to the west end of the plateau-like ridge. The wind gusts were significant causing me to brace myself but I was able to proceed without stumbling too much. I actually enjoyed the feeling of being immersed in the elements, mainly because I was comfortable. Before reaching the summit, a section of forest on the ridge offered shelter but once I was across, I continued wrestling strong wind all the way to the top. When I gained the summit, I started looking for the survey marker; I was careful not to get too close to the edge as the north side drops down vertically. It was quite the feeling being up there in these conditions, I sat down for a moment before heading down. With my rain resistant gear and goggles I felt like in a bubble, in complete awe of my surroundings. The highlights of this short hike were: the scenery, the weather, the fabulous rainbow that accompanied me throughout the day and my lengthy break in the trees building a snowman.
rainbow brightens the day

A rainbow to brighten this rainy day.

leaving the trail

Leaving the trail to ascend towards the rockband.

crude trail

A crude trail leads to the breach in the rockband.

rainbow

The rainbow is still there.

above the rockband

Above the rockband, I aimed climber's right to locate a good trail.

loose stuff


Above this loose stuff, the obvious trail awaits!


on the plateau


The cairn at the far right indicates the start of a delightful hike to the plateau-like ridge.


true summit


The true summit at the north-east end of the ridge.


gladstone windsor and castle


Mount Gladstone, Windsor Mountain and distinctive Castle Peak (L to R).


pleasant walk


A pleasant walk despite the insane wind gusts and drizzle!


looking back


Looking back at the western end of the plateau-like ridge.


drizzle+sunlight equals rainbow


Drizzle and sunlight equals rainbow, good trade off.


treed section


A treed section grants a respite from the wind.


looking back from the top


Looking back at the western end of the ridge from the true summit.


survey marker


Crawling to the survey marker and careful not to get blown off the mountain.


it's raining


It's raining but I can't get enough of this rainbow.


love this weather


Very neat light through the cloud cover, I love this kinda weather!!!


another snowman


On my way down I can't resist building another snowman, I'm obviously rarely in a hurry!!!


my companion


My companion today.


wind in my hair


Wind in my hair and rain drops in my lense...


access drainage


The trail delivers me back to the access drainage.


backtracking


Backtracking to the main trail below.


on the main trail


On the main trail.


still dry


Still dry, it's all good!
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