Cascade Mountain
scrambling one of the iconic peaks above Banff

Another sunny day for a long hike with an awesome view.


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The approach to Cascade is helped by the Banff Mount Norquay skihill, whose road lets you ascend ~400m by car.
From the parking lot, it's still a fairly long approach, though not too bad in elevation gain.
The first 6km is through forest of different sorts, steadily ascending to Cascade Ampitheatre
- a deep cirque which would be beautiful if only it had a tarn in the back.

forty-mile creek.

Sam, Kaium, Victoria hike ahead to the cirque.

Looking up at the environs

Cascade Ampitheatre and ascent ridge.

Above the cirque, we follow the obvious ridgeline, and after a short wander, maintain an awesome view the rest of the way.
We varied between walking the ridgeline and rock-hopping the talus below, steadily gaining towards the first bump.

Vermilion range to the north

Allan, Grant, Victoria, Kaium, Sam, and Rachel

Looking up the ridgeline we are to ascend.

Rockhopping up the talus field.

View up from the first rise.

Looking back down the ridge above Cascade Ampitheatre

After the first rise, we ascend steadily along the ridgeline.
We can see down to Norquay and Banff, as well as up the cascade valley where there is nothing but a few campsites
The trail traverses right (south) as we approach the false summit, so as to detour.

Pano of the whole mountain from partway up.

Last grassy bit above treeline and the pathway continuing.

Kaium hikes up grassy switchbacks.

Me and the valleys below. (taken by Grant)

Grant surveys the route up.

Rather than climb down the exposed face of the false summit, the trail skirts underneath it.
This is the dreaded exposed bit which needs to be free of snow to make the summit.
While dry it is not of particular note, the path is thin enough, and the dropoff long enough, that it would be much more dangerous with snow.
There remained a large cornice curving off from the low point - it'll be so cool to see it collapse off!

Traversing around the back of the false summit.

Approaching the shoulder below.

Under the false summit.

Mount Assinniboine far off to the south.

The straightforward road above the col.

Looking back at the false summit and cornice.

Kaium hikes up the slope.

The summit gave an incredible view, but plenty of wind, so we stopped for a short lunch and headed back down.

Victoria and I on the summit.

Phooning on the edge.

Summit Pano.

Piglet likes the view SE.

Starting back down to the false summit.

Checking out the cornice's path when it eventually falls.

Last look up behind us.

Sam heads down around the false summit.

On the descent we strayed off-trail a bit, and traversed differently than we had on the way up - higher or lower we never quite ascertained.
Both routes worked fine, but it was a good note that one must watch closely for the correct path down - it's easy to miss the turn.

Sam, Kaium, and Victoria walk the ridgeline.

The main ascent ridge we traverse to.

Allan and Grant hike back up the rockbands.

Sam, Kaium, Grant, and Allan hike down.

Last view of the summit from the ridgeline.

The (livingstone?) formation we spend most of our ascent through was full of fossils.
A few corals, and an incredible number of different brachiopods.

imprint of a brachiopod.

tons of fossils!

a coral of some sort.

brachiopod.

Photos taken by Rachel except where noted.

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