Mount Baldy
An early season quick peak with some good scrambling.

Once again, we made it only to the first peak, but it was an enjoyable day out.


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The original plan today was to scramble Mary Barclay's Mountain, which requires a crossing of the Kananaskis River.
When we arrived at the river crossing, we quickly realised this was not going to happen, and made alternate plans for Baldy.

Marshall in the creekbed leading to the river.

The Kananaskis River - flowing too high.

We contemplate our options.

Marshall explores an alternate route.

For some reason we took a confusing and *interesting* trail up the beginning.
Mount Baldy is a cool peak, because you quickly rise above the trees, and follow a neat rocky ridgeline most of the way.
We shortly made it onto the rock and started the ascent.

'Trail' at the beginning of the hike.

Adam starts up the rock.

The crux of the ascent is a short, couple metre downclimb maybe halfway up.
While pretty much requiring the use of hands, it is not very difficult, but does have some exposure.
There is a trail that heads around the bottom of it, enabling you to skip the downclimb and plod up scree instead, but why would you do that?
Shortly beyond the downclimb you come across the stone bench, made ages ago and still standing well.
We took a short snack break here.

Looking up the excellent ridgeline.

Marshall on the downclimb.

The downclimb section.

The guys climb up a scrambley step.

Breaktime at the stone bench.

Stopping to check out the valley view.

Beyond the stone bench the scrambling becomes a series of slabs and ledges broken by scree.
We encountered some snow near the top, but the travel was never difficult.

Rachel looks back from the ridge.

Adam and Axel come around a rocky corner.

Marshall heads up some slabs.

Marshall practices his self-arrest on this treacherous patch of snow.

Marshall getting some use out of his ice axe.

Success!

Summit pano.

We had some lunch on the summit, and wandered a bit to enjoy the view, but lacked the time to continue with the traverse
Based on the snow conditions, this was probably just as well for us.
We took essentially the same route down, with another short rest at the stone bench, and more fun climbing back up the cruz section.

Looking down the ridge to the south and west peaks.

Starting back down the ridge.

Piglet has his own stone chair!

Enjoying the furniture.

Marshall heads down some cool rock sections.

Approaching the climb back up.

Axel waits his turn as Marshall ascends.

It is kinda airy here.

Rose-root (tolmachevia integrifloria).

Kinnikinnik (arctostaphylos uva-ursi).

Rock Jasmine (androsace chamaejasme).

Blue Clematis (clematis occidentalis).

Photos taken by Axel and Rachel.

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