Turtle Mountain II
Crowsnest, Alberta
July 10
, 2010

When we drove to Crowsnest Pass, we had our sights set on climbing an unfamiliar peak, but when my car nearly became mired in mud on Allison Creek Road, we turned back. Mindful of thunderstorms expected late in the day, we hurriedly climbed the familiar Turtle Mountain.

Turtle Mountain remains much the same as when we climbed it eight years ago. A good trail leads to the first summit, but few trails lead to the second. Unfortunately, a helipad, solar panels and other equipment now mar the second summit.

Just before we reached the second summit, we heard the boom of distant thunder. But we saw no nearby threatening clouds so we continued to the top. From the summit we observed a storm that had passed well south of us.

As we started back we watched another storm sweep over peaks to the north, including the one we had intended to climb.

But after missing two storms, Turtle Mountain wasn't not spared. When we reached the car, it began to rain and thunder. As we drove away, Dinah looked back to see lightning illuminate Turtle Mountain.


After getting most of the way up this muddy, rutted section on Allison Creek Road, I decided to
bail and had to drive in reverse back down it. High-clearance and 4WD was required.


Climbing high above Blairmore


Stonecrop


First summit ahead


Unknown song bird


The trail winds below the ridge


Second summit ahead


We'll lose elevation on our way to the second summit


Dinah prepares to cross rocks bridging a fissure


Looking back at the first peak


Another fissure


We worked our across slopes full of loose rock


Second summit ahead


Heading down from the summit


As we headed back, we watched another storm


82 G/9 Blairmore

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