Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Squaw's Tit and Read's Ridge 2013

Sat & Mon Oct 12th/14th - Squaw's Tit, Read's Ridge

Ahh, proof that you can still have fun in the shoulder season!

Steve and I attempted Suaw's Tit, an adventure considering that the guidebook suggests only attempting it when dry and there was obvious snow on the route.  

We parked at about 9:30 am off the highway and took the Harvey Heights trails to the base. A short ways in Steve and I realised that it would have saved us some time to park in the town site..

After leaving the Harvey Heights trail at a well cairned turnoff things started off as a steep huff through the trees. It wasn't long before we emerged on the rocky ridge and things got more interesting. Fortunately, the sun had melted the snow on the south facing slopes so we made it considerably higher than expected.

Eventually it got a bit sporty with fairly stuck together rock. You could go around most of the steeper features but we chose the directissima.

The fun factor remained fairly high, however we eventually made it to the nipple and realised that was as far as we were going. Fresh snow on slab didn't really appeal to either of us. As mentioned, we made it considerably higher than expected - according to Steve's watch it was a 1200 metre day.

The descent went quite quickly although we got sucked a little too far down the gully on the skiers left however found a trail back to the gully down.

A great day out given the season, we were 3 1/2 hours up and 2 1/2 hours down at a pretty relaxed pace. I'll definitely be back once the snow melts.

Two days later I found myself in Kananaskis country with a couple of much better smelling partners, Deanna and Seana. We choose to hike up to the top of Read's Ridge, just to the south of Mt Sparrowhawk.

Although the day was cool, it was the clearest of the weekend and afforded great views up and down the valley.

As you can see, it didn't take long to hit snow line and up high it was a little sporty in boots with no traction devices.

We made the top in 2 1/2 hours a gain of 960 metres. From the top of the ridge we could see the scramble route up Mt Sparrowhawk, even saw someone coming back down the trail.

The shot above shows the ridge itself on the right and Mt Sparrowhawk on the left, here is where the two route diverge.

Ah yes, and Dee did get to see some of the Larch's in their fall wardrobe - mission accomplished!

Another interesting scramble and an area I would like to explore more.