King Creek Ridge
a snowy ridgeline hike with the Calgary Outdoor Club


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We started up the trail, which immediately turns up and ascends the ridge at an aggressive angle.
Right up to the ridgeline, the trail was almost completely dry, but we hit snow right upon cresting the ridge.

Marko, Jenn, and Sergio hike up the slope.

The group ascends switchbacks.

Jenn looks up the slope.

View down to the Kananaskis Lakes and surrounding peaks

The snow depth varied along the ridge from a few dry spots, or traverses on a lower slope, to thigh deep snowblown crests.
Slowly, we made our way along the ridge.

Marcel, Paul, and others return from a snowy lookout.

Marko starts up the ridge.

The group coalesces on a small viewpoint.

Mounts Elpoca and Wintour behind us to the south.

The ridge winds upwards.

The group skirts snowdrifts on the west edge of the ridge.

Windblown waves in a snowdrift.

View back down to the road.

Mounts Blane, Burney, Jeran, and Wintour - Elpoca Mountain back through the gap.

At one point, I choose a poor route lower along the ridge, and got stuck in thigh to waist -deep snow, and skidding on wet vegetation underneath.
I eventually made my way back up to the ridge, and we finished off the last windcorniced ridge to the summit.

Stuck more than waist deep in unconsolidated snow.

Struggling to get some part of me onto solid ground.

The group back on the ridgeline.

Last stretch to the summit.

Me making my way up the slope.

The group reaches the summit.

Lasting cornice on the summit.

Canadian flag at the summit.

From the summit, there's about a 100m walk to a second summit of similar height.
Normally it would probably be a nice ridgewalk, but it was a bit of a snow slog under these conditions

Marko taking the ridgewalk to the second summit

Scrambling up the last bit of rock to the second summit.

Group on the second summit, with a view back to the first

Second summit cairn in front of Grizzly Peak and Mount Evan-Thomas

From both summits we had an excellent view of the Kananaskis Lakes area to the west, and
As we turned back along the ridge, we noticed a strange, strongly pink cloud moving in from the west.
As it approached, it began to cast a pink glow on the snowy mountains, almost like a faint alpenglow, ahead of the cloud's shadow.
Eventually the cloud reached us, bringing with it a strong smell of smoke, and falling bits of ash confirming suspicions of a forest fire somewhere to the west.

Faint pink cloud in the west sky.

The pink cloud grows and approaches.

Pink cast on Mounts Packenham and Hood

Pink shadow on mountains to the west.

We finished off the hike down the slope we ascended, now in the shade of the smoke-cloud, which severely hazed the sky for a while.

Marko, Jenn, and Michael on the descent

The group descends the steep slope.

Flowers were just starting to show out for the year, with a few pasque flowers popping up.
While I am not sure as to the rock we were on here, it was incredibly fossiliferous,
and we found at one point a square meter with at least ten or more solitary rugose corals, many of them free from the rock.

Pasque Flower (anemone patens).

Pasque Flower (anemone patens).

Paleozoic solitary rugose coral.

Imprint of a brachiopod (or maybe bivalve).

Photos taken by Rachel.

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