Exshaw Mountain (Traverse)

elevation: 1,783 m. height gain: 485 m.
area: Exshaw,AB map 82 O/3

Ref: Gillean Daffern's Kananaskis Country Trail Guide.
exshaw mountain

Exshaw Mountain from the trailhead.
Snowshoe trip: RT 5.5; 1.25 up. While high avalanche hazard persists in the mountains, we keep downscaling our objectives. Although we've overlooked diminutive Exshaw Mountain in the past, I'm glad we came for a visit. The south-west facing slopes grant pleasant hiking in open timber with rock slabs along the way. The short climb was free of snow almost to the top. We enjoyed hiking on ground with the sun beaming over, it felt really nice. Once on the treed summit ridge, we put on our snowshoes. We travelled along the ridge taking pictures on several highpoints. We decided to keep going north to the saddle before Exshaw Ridge with an alternate descent in mind. After some post-holing, luckily downhill, we reached the saddle. Several open areas revealed prickly rock slabs and bare ground; we took a long break in the sun before heading down towards Exshaw Creek. The easy descent didn't require snowshoes. When the terrain leveled, we came upon a flagged trail heading towards Exshaw. We followed it back and couldn't resist taking another long pause basking in the sun before returning on the highway. Our only regret is that we didn't bring our hounds...
ascent slopes

Open south-west facing slopes.

town of exshaw

The town of Exshaw and the Lafarge cement plant.

nearing the top

Nearing the top.

mount mcgillivray

Mount McGillivray.

first hightpoint

Fab points out a buried cairn on a hightpoint.

looking back

Looking back.

second highpoint

I'm scratching my head, another highpoint with a buried cairn.

exshaw ridge

A view of Exshaw Ridge before heading down.

at the saddle

Exshaw Mountain from the saddle on the north side.

long break

Extended break in the sun, Mount Fable in the background.

mount lougheed

Mount Lougheed.

alternate descent

Nice alternate descent.

on a trail

We find a trail that heads back to Exshaw.

more trail

Wood features for mountain bikers along the trail.
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