Putnik, Mount

elevation: 2,924 m. height gain: 1,225 m.
area: Kananaskis,AB map 82 J/11

Drive to the North Interlakes day use area. Follow the Three Isle Lake Trail to Forks campground and continue on that trail to an avalanche path, 241101; another broader path exists a little further. We ascended towards some bluffs that we circumvented climber's left, staying in treed terrain to treeline, 235103. From there, we climbed talus slopes while veering climber's right, aiming for a south ridge/rib that leads to the final upper slope. A short summit ridge precedes the top.
mount putnik

Mount Putnik (right center) from the North Interlakes day use area.
Scramble: RT 10.25; 5.25 up. When we stayed at Three Isle Lake a couple of years ago, our plan of attempting this summit was discarded because of poor weather. Following some back and forth on Facebook, we planned to meet Raff at the trailhead and give this summit a visit; he invited Andrea, there aren't many scramblers that Raff doesn't know! They took their bikes for the approach while Fab and I decided to hike; we got a headstart and plodded at a good pace. They took a while to reach and pass us, we even joked that Raff might have broken his bike chain again... Once reunited near the bike rack, we continued on the trail to Forks campground and a bit beyond to locate Putnik's avalanche path. Some bushwhacking led to some bluffs, Fab and I had planned circumventing the bluffs on treed terrain climber's left. While Raff and Andrea decided to follow sparse trees through the bluffs, we stuck to our plan. Above treeline, we saw them ahead by a fair distance; we built a couple of cairns for the descent and carried on. We did a climbing traverse towards the rib that runs along the main southern drainage. The rock strata on the steep rib offered good footing on otherwise loose terrain. We gained a shoulder just as Andrea reached the summit ridge with Raff in hot pursuit. We plodded to the summit ridge and joined our friends. The weather was nice, we were able to stay awhile and enjoy both the view and the company. We returned together, going around the bluffs below. Instead of traversing back to the slide path, we went straight down; that was good at first but some unpleasant bushwhacking ensued before reaching the Three Isle Lake trail. We hiked back to the bikes at a steady pace; they saddled up and we said our goodbyes. We reached the truck just before the rain... Ouff!
up the avi path

Leaving the trail to ascend an obvious avalanche path.

raff and andrea take a direct route

Andrea and Raff went up the bluffs following sparse trees.

circumventing the bluffs

As planned, we circumvented the bluffs.

around the bluffs

Around the bluffs.

easy terrain

Easy terrain to treeline.

fab's cairn

Fab built a big cairn to relocate our descent.

climbing traverse

Ascending and traversing climber's right.

elusive south ridge

Aiming for the "elusive south ridge".

ascending a rib

We settle for some rock strata on a rib.

almost there

The rib leads to a shoulder preceding the final jaunt.

final jaunt

Nearing the summit ridge.

three isle lake

Three Isle Lake and Mount Worthington.

summit ridge

The summit ridge is short and sweet.

summit picture

Seft-timed picture courtesy of Raff.

heated discussion

Heated summit discussion, pointing fingers and all!

heading down

Heading down.


Backtracking to the rib.

using looser terrain

Descending loose terrain.

aiming for fab's cairn

Aiming for Fab's cairns.

around the bluffs

Around the bluffs again.

main trail

Back on the main trail.

bad weather on its way

Foul weather is coming in...
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