Saddle Mountain GR:871587

elevation: 2,277 m. height gain: 400 m. (includes height loss)
area: South Kananaskis,AB map 82 J/1

Via Windy Peak
leaving the truck

Leaving the truck, the dogs are already gone!
Snowshoe trip: RT 7.0; 2.45 up. It had been awhile since our last escapade up a summit with our lovely Spaniels. Since we were not heading out on any big trip this weekend, we decided to pack up the camping gear and take the hounds to the Front Range. Following a really long drive through Turner Valley, we reached our destination where Fab's cousin was waiting. The dogs were ecstatic; as usual, they were ready to go! There was a lot more snow than the last time we came; luckily, the dogs weren't postholing too much. The weather was sunny and mild but it was windy. Travel was fine on snowshoes. A short section of treed terrain preceding Windy Ridge proved difficult for the dogs as they punched through the isothermal snow. Daisy whimpered a little, we tried to get her to follow in our track... Soon we reached the wind-swept ridge and the dogs resumed tail-wagging activities. We made it to the summit of Windy Peak and kept going, dipping to the saddle connecting with Saddle Mountain's north ridge. With more snow still, the dogs were starting to fatigue; Fab decided to look for shelter in a cluster of trees and wait for us. I unloaded the dog blanket and food from my pack and turned on my 2-way radio. The trek to Saddle Mountain's double summit is easy, we encountered some firm snow on the ridge. After ascending both peaks, we quickly returned to Fab and the roaming hounds. As we descended from the ridge, Lincoln came to greet us. We climbed back up Windy Peak; the wind had definitely picked up a lot. It was so windy that we couldn't walk straight; constantly braced to avoid being knocked down to our knees. Any loose straps and airborne dirt and snow slapped us in the face. My snowshoes were ripped off from my pack; the wind was ludicrous, it was hard not to laugh about it! Back at the truck, we drove to Willow Creek area for a quiet night around a bonfire. The following morning we awoke to some sun but by the time we had every thing packed up, a substantial blizzard was upon us, snow was accumulating... never a dull moment!
approaching windy ridge

Approaching a bit of bush before we gain the ridge.

above treeline

Above treeline; dogs are no longer postholing, off they go again!

treat time

Back for treats...

top of windy peak

A picture atop windy Windy Peak.

continuing towards saddle mountain

We continue towards today's objective.

dipping down

Dipping down to a connecting saddle.

saddle preceding the approach ridge

Fabrice decides to wait at the saddle with the hounds; Rupert is recovering from a strain and Daisy is tired...

grassy ridge

Gentle grassy Front Range ridge.

saddle's double summit

Saddle Mountain's double summit ahead.

at the top

At the top of the northern, higher peak.

southern peak is 15 minutes away

The southern peak is only 15 minutes away.

just about there

Just about there.

view south-east

View south-east.

heading back

Heading back.

along the ridge

Along the ridge.

we can hear the dogs barking

We can hear the dogs barking, Lincoln is running to greet us.

back up windy peak

Going back up Windy Peak.

the wind picked up

Holy moly, the wind picked up...


... it's ludicrous!

nice break sheltered in the trees

A long break in a sun patch, sheltered in the forest.

more dogs

More dogs!

back at the truck

Returning at the truck.
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