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Grizzly Peak

Difficulty: 
Easy Scramble
Elevation [m]: 
2540
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
6.2
Net Elevation Gain [m]: 
880
Total Elevation Gain [m]: 
900
YDS Difficulty: 
2
Bushwhackyness: 
Pretty much none
Tripdate: 
Sunday, November 8, 2015

While being in the Bow Valley for a wilderness field medic course it turned out that Liam and Meghan were both around and looking for something that would work as a shoulder-season objective.  After some deliberation we decided upon one of the least aggressive peaks in Kane's book, the mighty Grizzly Peak along HWY 40 in Kananaskis, just west of Mount Evan Thomas.  It turned out we would be joined on our trip by a savage beastie, Leo the peakhound, a wee black lab puppy who did very well with the mountain terrain!

 
Not wanting to get too early of a start we met up in Canmore a bit after sunrise and rambled down HWY 40 from there.  The trailhead for the route is at a creek a little before the junction leading to Kananaskis lakes (no pull-out just side of the road), see Kane's book for more specific directions.  Once at the side of the road the trail starts on the north side of the creek and rambles upwards over a series of laid back switchbacks perfect for a wee-beastie to ramble up!  The trail gets a little more indistinct higher up but sticking high avoiding going down by the creek allows for reaching the upper part valley with only a few scrambly sections.
 

Setting out from the roadside, a cairn is visible in the centre.

 

Certainly not far reaching views today.

 

Interesting color on some deadfall along the trail.

 

Leo seemed to be thinking he would be getting some of Liam's tea!

 

Looking southwards to Kananaskis Lakes.

 
Before long rock gave way to snow and we were plodding upwards following some recent tracks from another party.  Thankfully for Leo he was light enough (and with natural crampons) that he could walk up the snow along our path with minimal effort (when he wasn't being distracted by rolling snowballs).  Beneath the snow there was evidence of a well worn-trail which let out at a broad plateau between Grizzly Peak and Mount Evan Thomas.  Once on the plateau the windy made conditions quite frosty but we made quick time up to the summit cairn, snapped a few pictures and then retreated back to a warmer more-sheltered place.
 
 

Up on the plateau between Grizzly and Evan Thomas.

 

Quite windy up here!

 

On the summit ridge, not far to go.

 

Views from the summit.

 

Meghan on dog delivery so Leo could make the top too.

 

Once back down along our tracks it turned out that Leo was less than impressed with the angle for going down and Meghan ended up carrying the critter in her pack.  Before long we were back on more gentle terrain and the beast could be released back on four-paw drive for the rest of the descent.
 
Not really much to say about Grizzly Peak.  Though if you are looking for a short day, a shoulder-season objective, or an introduction to scrambling it would be a good choice.
 

Back down the trail we go.

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