Wedge, The


elevation: 2,665 m. height gain: 1,040 m.
area: Kananaskis,AB map 82 J/14
2014-Jun-22


Ref: Alan Kane's Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies



along the drainage


The trail follows the drainage lower down.
Scramble: RT 8.0; 4.0 up. This outing was spontaneous, we decided to visit The Wedge after reading a recent trip report on Clubtread. We met Charles at the Wedge Pond parking lot early to allow us some time to pick up new hiking boots in Banff after the scramble. Past the metal gate at the trailhead, we went right on a gravel path; within 20 meters, we found the ascent trail on our left. The trail keeps to the east side of the drainage; it is washed out for a short distance before climbing towards the ridge. We encountered snow at treeline, we skirted a lot of it and followed tracks. Once at the base of the summit block, we took a break. Charles said he heard voices, that's when we noticed three figures coming up; we recognized Marko and Amelie right away! The third person looked familiar... it was Matthew Hobbs! So here we had it, an instant mountain posse. We were very excited to meet fellow scramblers we know from the internet. We carried on and quickly reached a steep section and a gully that lead to the ascent slopes. It was clear these people had experience, they were careful not to dislodge rocks and they waited patiently to remain as a group; it was comforting for me, I don't have the strongest scrambling skills... After the initial scrambly bit, we followed a crude trail to the north summit. In little time, we stood above the crux; indeed it's airy, my hands were moist as I watched Marko, Amelie and Charles negotiate the exposed section of the ridge. I decided to leave my pack behind; I took a couple of long breaths, exhaled and proceeded, only looking at the terrain I needed to latch onto. The narrow ridge becomes like an arÍte (hard to see on pictures); I straddled that part and moved awkwardly to safer ground. The remainder of the connecting ridge is quite trivial after that! I was thrilled to step on the summit and enjoy the view, the company and the feat. After a decent stay at the top, we headed down. I found the crux a little easier but still difficult... I expressed a sigh of relief as I picked up my backpack and high-fived Fab and Matthew. At the base of the summit block, I went to gather up my poles but there was only one. We looked around while Matthew told us a story about a marmot stealing and chewing a pole; ha ha, we continued down a short distance and scoped out the terrain for my pole. No pole was seen. I went back up and found my pole in an unlikely place; Matthew is right, there are rabid marmots in the Rockies.
open terrain

The terrain opens up.

summit block

Nearing the base of the summit block.

instant posse

Instant posse: Matthew, Amelie, Marko, Fabrice and Charles.

scrambly bit


Initial scrambly bit.


ascent slopes


After a short gully, we make our way up the ascent slopes.


nearing the summit ridge


Getting close to the summit ridge.


marko and matthew


Marko and Matthew.


near the first summit


Almost at the north summit.


true summit ahead


True summit ahead.


airy crux


Marko, Amelie and Charles negotiating the airy crux.


looking back


Looking back from safer ground.


beyond the crux


The remainder of the ridge is much easier.


narrow bit


The ridge narrows in places.


enjoyable traverse


Enjoyable traverse.


arriving at the top


Reaching the top.


at the top


Whoot, whoot!


fortress, gusty and galatea


The Fortress, Gusty Peak and Mount Galatea.


leaving the top


Leaving the top.


connecting ridge


Small patches of snow along the way.


crux


Amelie is hugging the arÍte-like feature climber's right; I clambered on over and straddled the narrow part.


down the talus slopes


Back down the talus slopes on a crude trail.


entering the gully


Entering the gully, careful not to dislodge rocks.


mount kidd


Mount Kidd and Wedge Pond.


fantastic day


Today was fantastic! We made new friends, nobody got hurt and I found my stolen pole!
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