Warden Rock

elevation: 2,694 m.
height gain: 1,200 m.
area: Ya Ha Tinda Ranch,AB
map 82 O/12

Ref: Steven's peak-bagging journey
warden rock

Warden Rock at the right from the trailhead.
Scramble: RT 11.0; 6.0 up. After a tough week at work, I was pleased to see a good forecast for the weekend. I envisioned a short road trip to Ya Ha Tinda combining a sleepover and a fine hike. I packed the truck and left after work on a saturday; it felt a bit like I was revisiting my Colorado experience. I had a long 5 hour drive ahead of me but I was in no hurry. I picked up supper and fuelled up in Canmore then continued the drive on the winding gravel road. Once parked at the trailhead, I sat on a bench by a creek, soaking in the last of the sun rays until the evening chill. I sipped on some wine and jotted down a few lines before retiring for the night. I wasn't sure if Jay was going to join me for the hike the next day. I awoke at 5:15 AM, started the truck for some heat as it was -4˚C and laid back down to snooze. After indulging with sheer laziness, I stowed my sleeping back and started getting ready. Suddenly a truck pulled next to mine, it was Jay and Derek. I still had my sandals on and stuff strewn all over in the truck, I gathered my gear to get going. It felt cold on the ride but the sun was soon upon us. We biked to our coordinate and ditched the iron steeds by an obvious horse trail that heads down to the river. Pants came off and boots were exchanged for runners to execute the river crossing. It was bloody cold but otherwise quite easy; the river wasn't fast flowing or very deep. Once on the other side, it wasn't long before we picked up a good trail that goes into the draw toward Warden Rock, we followed it casually right to the foot of the mountain. The snow gully was appealing, it would make the ascent more pleasant than scree and grant a good glissade. We put on crampons and climbed the snow to its end, we then encountered loose scree before stepping upon a good trail traversing to the ridge. It seemed everything about this hike leaned to convenience. Once on the summit ridge, it was a nice walk to the summit with exquisite views along the way. There was no wind, we didn't even have to put on extra layers. We lingered at the top and greeted a group of 6 scramblers with the Calgary Scrambling and Mountaineering Club before heading down. After walking the ridge, we bee-lined straight to the snow gully and enjoyed a good glissade. We then hung out by some cool rock formations for another break before resuming our return to the river. The crossing seemed warmer the second time around, it felt refreshing on this warm day. Biking back made our return painless and fast; 45 minutes back to the car, well worth using a bike!

at the trailhead

Relaxing the evening preceding the scramble.

my partners today

My partners for today, Derek and Jay.

leaving the bikes

Leaving the bikes behind and following a horse trail to the river.

fording the river

Fording the Red Deer River.

on the trail

Finding the horse trail quickly thereafter.

nice break

Nice break on this stellar day.

nearing the mountain

The snow ascent on the left.

at the snow gully

Another break while we put on crampons.

pleasant ascent

Pleasant snow ascent.

traverse on game trail

Traversing to the ridge on a game trail.

tee off

Jay's about to tee off!

the objective

Summit ridge and objective.

summit ridge

The lovely ridge offers casual walking and awesome views.

barrier mountain

Barrier Mountain south-east of us.

view east

View east with Eagle Mountain (left) and Maze Peak (left center).

almost there

Almost there.

at the top

At the top with the Red Deer River below.

south west view

Gable Mountain dominates the south-western view.

group shot

A group of 6 from the Calgary Scrambling and Mountaineering Club joined us.
Picture courtesy of Julie Muller.

heading back

Heading back.

descent to the snow

Straight down to the snow gully.


Glissading of course!

looking back

Looking up, the other group is coming down.

softer snow below

The snow has softened lower down.

cool rock formations

Side trip to some cool rock formations.

photo oppportunity

Photo opportunity.

fording take 2

Fording the river again.

riding back

Easy breezing return to the trailhead.
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