Turtle Mountain

elevation: 2,204 m.  height gain: 970 m.
area: Crowsnest Pass,AB
map 82 G/8-9

Ref: Alan Kane's Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies
raff came to celebrate with me

Raff came to Turtle Mountain's trailhead to celebrate my birthday.
Scramble: RT 6.0; 4.0 up. After a long trip in Colorado, I found myself restless at home; especially given that this weekend was my 50th birthday. I reached out to some of my friends to see if we could get together for an outing in the Pincher Creek area where conditions seemed favorable. In little time, a plan was in the works for a nice scramble with several peeps. I decided to head down a day early and scramble Turtle Mountain solo to make this long drive worthwhile. Raff also had plans to climb in that region for the weekend, he agreed to meet me at Turtle Mountain's trailhead to celebrate with me; we had a tailgate party! So Nakagawa joined us for a little while, it was nice to see him. We drank a bit too much as I recall, we might have dropped a couple of wieners in the coals while roasting them on the bonfire. The following day, I was up early as usual. I got ready then knocked on Raff's truck window to say goodbye before leaving for my scramble. I felt a little hung over as I started climbing the mighty Turtle. My body and mind were on the same page, messed up I suppose... Anyway, I continued to treeline and beyond where the wind was my companion. The terrain became more interesting as I climbed to the first summit. Once at the false summit, I was delighted to see the beautiful traverse to the true summit, I perked up and embraced the challenge. This was the best part of the outing, with snow this traverse is by far better in my opinion. I made it to the summit's platform and enjoyed the sights despite the wind. Comparing to last weekend's trip on Atlantic Peak in Colorado where I actually got picked off the ground, this was manageable. I stayed for a while, I wasn't in any hurry. My return was casual, I didn't have far to go that afternoon, I was meeting some friends in Pincher Creek at the pub!!

so dropped by to say hello

So Nakagawa also dropped by to say hello.

painted rocks

Painted rocks indicate the start of the trail.

encountering snow

Encountering snow on the way up.

packed trail

Packed trail along the way.

first summit comes into view

The first summit comes into view.

nice day and firm snow

Nice day and firm snow.

first summit

The packed trail ends at Turtle Mountain's first summit.

traverse to true summit

The traverse to the true summit will be easier with snow!

town of blairmore

Looking down onto the town of Blairmore.

careful hiking

Careful hiking on snow that is possibly bridging deep holes.

some odd dead trees

A glimpse back at some odd dead trees along the traverse.

interesting terrain

Interesting terrain, I followed the ridge crest.

looking back

Looking back at the first summit.

travel on firm snow is better

Travel on firm snow is better than on the blocky terrain beneath.

nearing the summit ridge

Ascending to the short summit ridge.

frank slide

Frank Slide (april 1903): 82 million tones of rock came down burying the south-eastern edge of a mining town killing 90 people.

summit ridge

Summit ridge.

south-western view

South-western view, the taller peaks are shrouded by cloud.

southern view

Southern view from the summit platform with Hillcrest Mountain.

town of bellevue

The town of Bellevue to the east.

looking north

Looking north beyond the summit ridge and first summit.

heading back

Heading back with the first summit in sight.

gnarly tree

A gnarly tree along the traverse.

bluff mountain

Bluff Mountain from the first summit.
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