Turner, Mount

elevation: 2,806 m. height gain: 1,050 m.
area: Kananaskis,AB map 82 J/14

Ref: Steven's peak-bagging journey

At the trailhead, the weather looks unstable...
Scramble: RT 14.0; 6.0 up (includes my late day detour). When Jay suggested this trip, I was quick to accept; I remembered reading Steven's trip report and had already jotted the objective down! It was especially nice to know that Ariane would be joining us just 5 months post ACL surgery. We met at the trailhead and got under way using bikes. The forecast was very optimistic for this region on 3 weather models, they called for mainly sunny to 20 % probability of rain. The overcast sky and low clouds were an indicator of what was to come... Engaged in conversation, we casually biked to the park boundary and left our bikes at the closure sign. While Fab and Jay walked ahead, Ariane and I followed and talked about knee surgery; I'm especially curious since I'm lined up for an ACL reconstruction this november. Before we knew it, we were at the bridge over Bryant Creek. We had a quick snack before continuing on the Owl Lake Trail. At some point, we left the trail to ascend Turner's north-west ridge; by luck, we found a faint trail leading us to treeline. The terrain was pleasant and somewhat sheltered but when we gained the alpine meadows on the ridge, the wind became significant and it started to drizzle. The summit block appeared loose and steep in places. Ariane was experiencing some pain in her knee; wanting to prevent injury, she decided to hunker down in a hollow. As we continued upward, drizzle turned to horizontal wet snow plastering us on the one side. Carefully avoiding missteps, we made it to the top where visibility was next to nil. The door of the shack was unlocked, we came in for relief from the poor weather while we grabbed a quick bite. We started our descent promptly to rejoin with Ariane; with very little shelter and wet windy conditions, it was tough to stay warm. Once reunited, we had a quick break at treeline before continuing. We got into thicker shrubbery coming down as we deviated from our line of ascent. We were happy to step on the Owl Lake Trail and that's when it started raining harder. We proceeded at a fast pace to stay warm. At the bikes, I left ahead to save time on a long uphill; I missed the turn-off and followed the well-used trail along the park boundary. When I noticed I wasn't reaching the uphill, I backtracked but not far enough. Turn of events left me continuing in the wrong direction hoping to reach Mount Shark's ski trails or the highway. At a trail sign, I realized I had to turn around. Soon thereafter, I started hearing Fab's replies to my yelling as he came looking for me. I sure was glad to see him, I had already contemplated what I had in my pack to start a fire... Feeling very exhausted from the extra mileage, being wet and cold, I dug deep to follow Fab back to the car before dark. Jay and Ariane had left a note, they had gone to check the Spray Lakes West Campground. We met them on the drive out. I gave them both a great big hug and apologized for being so distracted. Despite that incident and the weather, I'm happy we went to visit this area; we accomplished our goal and the company was great! We'll be back in better weather I'm sure!
leaving the bikes

Leaving the bikes behind after 6 kilometers.

bryant creek

This bridge across Bryant Creek is a good spot for a break.

aiming for the ascent ridge

Leaving the Owl Lake Trail to ascend Turner's north-west ridge.

blue mushroom

An amazing blue mushroom in the shape of an alligator's head.

north-western view

Looking north-west.

along the ridge

Along the ridge's edge, the trees offer some shelter from the wind.

nice break

A nice break before the open terrain.

still sheltered

Still sheltered along a concave feature.

broad alpine ridge

The very broad alpine ridge offers delightful hiking.

it's drizzling

Looking back, it's drizzling now.

summit block

Ascent to the summit.

drizzle turns to snow

Drizzle turns to snow.

horizontal wet snow

The horizontal wet snow plasters the ground on the one side.

zero visibility

At the top with zero visibility.

in telemetry shack

In the telemetry shack for a quick break.

mount morrison somewhere

Over there, somewhere, is Mount Morrison.

leaving the top

Leaving the top.

out of the clouds

Breaking out of the clouds.

wet loose rock

The wet loose rock is not that much faster coming down.

reunited with ariane

Reunited with Ariane.


It's raining as we descend to the trail below.

cruise control

In cruise control mode to the bikes.
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