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Otuskwan Peak

Difficulty: 
Easy Scrambling
Elevation [m]: 
2640
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
26.0
Net Elevation Gain [m]: 
930
Total Elevation Gain [m]: 
1500
Bushwhackyness: 
4:45 from a camp at the end of the old road
Tripdate: 
Friday, October 25, 2013

Eric, Steven, and I were looking for a good 'day and a bit' objective for the weekend to get one more scramble in before a big snowstorm showed up setting the stage for winter, and after coming across a recent report of a Calgarian group heading up Zombie Peak we decided upon nearby Otuskwan Peak. According to Peakfinder, Otuskwan is a First Nations word for Elbow which apparently describes the shape of the peak. We set off from a big pulloff infront of a Suncor plant at km marker 14 on the forestry trunk road after crossing the Red Deer River heading from Sundre after dark and quickly came across the old logging road that would serve as the approach.

The old road was washed out in many places but when it was present made for quick travel, (that being said at night it wasn't always obvious where the road continued after a washout so some extra bushwhacking was added on to keep things interesting) if you are heading down the road be prepared for a large number of creek crossings. After heading to almost the Zombie/Utuskwan junction we stopped and camped for the night waking up at sunrise with some decent views of the surrounding unnamed peaks.

Our plan for the ascent was pretty much follow the creek up the valley for a bit and then move into the bush when it became impassable. Steven and I ended up on the north side of the creek and Eric on the south (the south proved to be better terrain with nice moss rather then sideslopy dirt on the north and we took this on the way down). After a few hours of travel we came to a large drop off which marked the start of the scree slog up to the summit. Nothing too technical on the ascent, loose rock marked with a couple brief scrambly moves to gain the ridge, after which the summit presents itself quickly.

Summit views from Otuskwan made up for the whiteout on Wapiti. We agreed that unofficially named 'Puma Peak' was probably the most impressive looking peak nearby and lots of other far giants were visible. After admiring the sights we headed back to camp and back down the road (which was much easier to navigate by day light!).

 

 

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