Wasootch Peak
an unofficially named peak in the Kananaskis Valley

Allan, Grant, Wietse, Laurier, and I headed out for a good winter scramble on a warm, but windy day.

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The first part of the trail is fully in the trees.
We start out up the north bank of an unnamed drainage between Wasootch and Kananaskis Peaks,
turning, after a kilometre or so up onto the southmost ridge coming off the peak.

Wasootch Peak from near the trailhead.

Hiking along the drainage near the start.

Wietse and Grant stop for photos.

Rachel, Laurier, Allan, and Grant hike in Wietse's path.

Laurier and Grant in the shelter of the trees.

Rachel, Allan, and Laurier hike an open section.

The ridge begins wide and treed, and as you ascend things to an obvious line with snowy gullies on each side.
As this part steepened, the snow became more troublesome and we had lots of fun treadmilling on a foot of sugar.
Higher on the ridge, we left the trees, and the snow developed a few-inch layer of windlsab to break through before sliding.
A few little rockbands changed things up, but it was a difficult part of the trail.
This ridge broadens to meet the Wasootch-Kananaskis Ridge, at which point we turn off uphill to the north.

Wietse and Grant hike through sparser trees.

Rachel, Laurier, Allan, Wietse.

Wietse, Grant, and Allen with Mount Kidd behind.

Laurier and the ridge to Kananaskis Peak.

Reaching the ridge to the summit, we finally left the snow behind, but for a dusting, and a few hard drifts.
To replace the trouble of snow, the wind picked up on the upper ridge, blowing stronger than I've had on any other mountain.
Where there might often be a steady wind with insane gusts, this was an incredible sustained wind that blew us around.
We split up as we ascended the upper ridge, with Grant running ahead to tag the peak, and Laurier and I lagging behind Allan and Wietse.

Allan heads around on troublesome snow.

The open stretch of ridge before the summit.

A neat little wind-hardened cornice and Laurier.

Looking back along the summit ridge.

The summit block and ridge from below.

Allan checks out the dropoff to the east.

We made it to the summit at last, and stopped just long enough to look around.
Grant traversed over to the lower North summit while the rest of us finished the ascent.
The wind had taken a severe toll on all of us by this point, so we headed back down quickly.

Grant heads over to the (lower) north summit.

360degree panorama from the summit.
Click here to see it with points named.

Zoom of Grant on the north summit.

Wietse and Grant walk off the summit ridge.

Laurier and Rachel come back off the block.

Grant, photographer of the almost group shot earlier.

The descent went quickly, with scree at the beginning, and then the loose snow for the lower half.
The brutal snow on the way up was actually nice on the way down, and we slid back to the start in half our ascent time.

Allan and Laurier scramble down a rockband.

Allan and Grant descend scree and talus near the top.

Grant, Laurier, and Rachel slide down some windslab.

Photos taken by Allan, Grant, Wietse, and Rachel.

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