Monday, 6 October 2014

Mt Sparrowhawk 2014

Saturday July 26th - Mt Sparrowhawk 3121 metres

Synopsis: 4 out of 5 stars. An easy scramble that gets up high quickly and rewards with spectacular views!

Deanna, Seana and I had been up Read's Ridge last fall and had made a note that the extra effort to go to the top of Sparrowhawk would likely be rewarding. When we were blessed with a beautiful summer Saturday and nothing much on the agenda, it was a done deal!

The nice thing about Sparrowhawk is there isn't a whole lot of route finding, you can see it as you are driving down the Smith-Dorrien. The morning was a bit leisurely and we left the parking lot at 9 am, as mentioned the trail goes pretty much straight up so the views quickly become breathtaking.

By 10:15 am we made the hump before Read's Ridge and followed a well beaten path down to the left and up a scree bowl.

It took us about half an hour to work our way up through this feature, as you can see the sun was shining and it was quickly getting warm. There wasn't anyone we could see ahead of us although there was a large party coming up behind that fortunately kept their distance through the scree.

Once above, there was some grass and some rock but the scree wasn't bad at all. The track through it helped.

There had been some precipitation earlier in the week and once we got close to the head wall, it was covered with rime in really interesting formations. We could actually hear the tinkling as it melted off the rock as the sun got to it.

The snow was pretty solid and we had no trouble making our way around to the right to the summit. It got modestly steep around back but the footing was good.

The views were fantastic! We could make out the roof of the Canmore Hotel on once side and see Calgary in the distance on the other. We were on top at 12:30 pm and spent almost an hour having lunch and pointing out the peaks of K Country.

Down was the reverse of up, the wind picked up a little and it wasn't tropical but still a great day to be in the mountains.

We had a break close to the bottom of Read's Ridge to kick the stones out of our shoes and were back at the car at 5:30 pm.

It is a bit of a huff, with more than 1500 metres of elevation gained but well worth the effort!