Hensley, Mount GR:296687

elevation: 2,820 m. height gain: 1,450 m.
area: David Thompson Highway,AB map 83 C/2

Drive to the David Thompson Highway 11 and park at the Timber Creek Bridge, 281625, 2.5 kilometers east of Thompson Creek Campground. We ascended on the west side of the creek through burnt timber and manageable deadfall. We crossed secondary outflows and paralleled the main drainage from above. About half way up, roughly 297660, we aimed for the creekbed. We bypassed a canyon climber's left, returning to the creekbed thereafter. Further travel in the gully is straightforward. The south-west aspect grants easy access to the top. On descent, we stayed in the creekbed almost all the way down; we circumvented occasional difficulties by climbing the west bank.

mount hensley

Mount Hensley (center).

burnt timber

Manageable deadfall with very little undergrowth.
Scramble: RT 13.0; 6.0 up. I noticed Mount Hensley from the highway a few years back. As we returned from Nordegg a couple of weeks ago, I had another good look; the ascent gully was filled with snow and the approach appeared snowfree to treeline, this prompted me to suggest it to Fab. I still favored my injured knee, I hoped for a long glissade to lessen the strain of going down. There was zero information about this objective on the internet, we plotted our way and hoped for the best. We parked on the side of the highway and started hiking along the west side of Timber Creek. The burnt forest offers some views, the price is plentiful deadfall; luckily, the tangled wood is manageable. We hiked the path of least resistance, keeping in mind the main drainage to our right. We followed a paralleling drainage on a rib for a while, travel was decent as we zigzagged and sometimes lost height to gain another rib; eventually we corrected our heading and aimed for the main drainage. After nearly 3 hours and about 5 kilometers, we descended to the creekbed. Travel was fine but we encountered a canyon shortly thereafter. We bypassed the canyon by climbing the west bank, we then returned to the creekbed. Within 15 minutes, we stood on firm avalanche debris. The snow filled the whole drainage, we were extremely pleased. We hiked with ease, enjoying the second half of the ascent. The uninterrupted snow gully led all the way to the ridge crest. Once on the ridge, the summit is not far away. We arrived at the top as some nasty looking weather shrouded the mountains north of us. We put on all our layers and watched the dark clouds skirt us. The temperature dropped close to zero as the snow fell; oddly enough, it wasn't that windy. We stayed over an hour before retracing our steps. I glissaded as much as possible. Beyond the canyon, we decided to stay in the creekbed. Travel was good at first but as we got lower, detours on the west bank became more frequent. We were quite happy to step on pavement and see the car. I can't believe I completed this trip without further injury to my knee; thank you God!
lots of deadfall

Some sections have more deadfall...

following a rib

Following a rib.

paralleling the drainage

Travelling above the drainage.

at the creekbed

About half way, we went down to the creekbed.


Coming up to a canyon that we circumvented climber's left.

back to the creekbed

Descending to the creekbed after the small detour.

white boulder

The big white boulder in the middle of the creekbed is a good indicator for the detour upon return.


Shortly thereafter, snow appears in the drainage.

delightful for travel

The avalanche debris is firm and delightful for travel.

uninterrupted snow path

The snow path is uninterrupted; happy, happy, joy, joy!

what we hoped for

This is exactly what we were hoping for.

nearing the ridge crest

Nearing the ridge crest.

avoiding postholing

Spreading my weight on my poles to avoid postholing.

mount cline and whitegoat peaks

Mount Cline and Resolute Mountain to the left; Whitegoat Peaks in the background (center).

looking back

Looking back.

reaching the top

Reaching the top with ominous weather to the north.

weather station

The unofficial weather station.

it's snowing

The dark clouds skirted us, the temperature dropped and it's now snowing.

view north-west

View north-west.

leaving the top

Leaving the top.

sunny again

The sun is shining again.

heading to the snow

Heading to the snow on the soft shale, which is also nice.


Glissading, one of my favorite things.

very enjoyable

Thoroughly enjoying the continuous highway of snow.

end of the good stuff

All good things must come to an end...

circumventing the canyon

Circumventing the canyon.

lower creekbed

The creekbed much lower down.
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