Burke, Mount

elevation: 2,542 m. height gain: 880 m.
area: South Kananaskis,AB map 82 J/7

Ref: Scramble Cdn Mtns.
burke obscured

It is snowing lightly, there is still some visibility.
Snowshoe trip: RT 5.5; 3.5 up. The weather across BC was not looking good for several days. The only area that appeared to offer some resistance to this impressive low-pressure system was lee of the foothills. We planned an outing to south k-country. Because of the long drive to the Cataract Creek area, we camped and brought the hounds. It turns out that shortly after turning west from Longview, we said goodbye to the sun and drove into light snow. The Cataract Creek day use area was busy with snowmobilers; we set off a little before 11 AM. From the campground, we stayed low on the creek bed. We came to an old road where the snow was unconsolidated; that motivated us to use game trails higher on the dry south facing slopes. We passed the trail that ascends Burke by 100-200 m. not noticing it. Instead of backtracking, we headed straight up the lightly timbered slope and soon reached more punchy snow. Fab broke trail with the hounds quartering in front of him; they'll be tired tonight! Near treeline we came across a buried up-track, we also noticed the wide trail. I left Fab and the doggies at treeline where they started their way back down; the windy conditions were not favorable for the dogs and they had already exerted themselves in the deep snow. It took less than an hour to reach the lookout from there. The ridge walk was easy but the wind-driven snow was bone chilling! I even had to tuck my mitts in my pack in the lookout from fear of having them blow away! After a few pictures, I headed back down for some relief from the wind. I followed Fab's tracks down the lovely trail. When I took my snowshoes off, I found the dry traverse and headed towards the old road. On the way back, we managed to stay on the dry, north embankment of the creek for most part. There seems to be a summer trail leaving the campground, although we lost it from time to time because of snow coverage. The hounds met me on the road before the day use area; all happy... Snow fell through the night. Is it not ironic we drove this far for a break from snowfall and we almost got snowed in with the Sunfire!
good dogs

At the campground.

salter creek

Salter Creek bed.

nice inukshook

A very nice rock sculpture.

dry traverse

Above the old road and creek bed, we find a dry traverse.

avoiding snow below

The snow below is unsupportive even with the snowshoes.


Windblown alpine ahead; Fab and the hounds are returning to the car slowly.

false summit

False summit.

the objective

Final stretch, a casual ridge walk.

view along the way

Looking south towards Plateau Mountain.

lookout ahead

Cameron Lookout. I stayed on the ridge.

at the top

South-east ridge from the lookout.

ascent ridge

Looking down the ascent ridge.

heading down

Quickly heading back down.

entering treeline

Almost back in the trees.

dry traverse

From Burke trail I located the high traverse to avoid the snow.


The next day, we get a clear view of Mount Burke from the day use area.

overnight snowfall

We also wake up to a couple of inches of fresh snow!

back to golden

Our lone track, coming out from nowhere...
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