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Bishop Ridge, East Peak
Kananaskis, Alberta
November 9, 2008

I set off with the intention of climbing Bishop Ridge, but unfortunately I couldn't summon enough energy to complete the summit. I settled on climbing a high point instead. I simply ran out of energy. I suspect it was a reaction to the flu vaccination I had received the previous day.

I parked 1.2 km north of Lineham Creek day-use area, hiked up the trail a short way and waded the Highwood River. Shortly after, I crossed Loomis Creek and followed the trail alongside the creek.

The trail crosses the creek several times, but since the water was low and in some places frozen, I was able to keep my feet dry – one good reason for doing this hike late in the season. I noticed the tracks of different animals in the snow, but one stood out: the bloody paw prints of a cougar. I thought the blood came from a fresh kill and would soon disappear, but after following the tracks for several hundred meters the blood-stained snow persisted. Apparently the big cat had wounded one of its paws.

I was so curious about the bloody tracks that I missed the turn-off for Bishop Ridge! I continued up the trail for 500 m before realizing it. Instead of backtracking to the junction, I bushwhacked up a ridge and eventually got back on the Bishop Creek trail.

The trail was largely overgrown and unpleasant. At times I held my poles in front of my face to protect it from being branch-whipped. But I was more concerned with my flagging pace. I was tiring quickly so I decided to cut my losses and head up the east peak. Even that short, steep climb proved tiring but I welcomed the views at the top. I was disappointed to find the Elk Range hidden in cloud, but the eastern skies were clear and I could see the Highwood Range.

After a short stay, I meandered back down to the trail and this time followed it all the way back to Loomis Creek. It was a gorgeous day and I regretted having to abort Bishop Ridge, but also found myself quickly fatiguing despite going downhill.

I'll probably return to climb Bishop Ridge or Mount Bishop or both, but I'm not looking forward to the creek crossings and overgrown trail!


Hiking up the trail after crossing Highwood River


Mount Bishop and Bishop Ridge


Fourth Loomis Creek crossing


Bloody cougar tracks


The fifth Loomis Creek crossing: the turn-off for Bishop Creek trail is 100 m farther


A closer look at Mount Bishop and Bishop Ridge


Clouds obscured the views to the south


View to the northeast


Bishop Ridge from the east peak


Heading to the top of the east peak


Lineham Twin Peaks (left)


Serendipity Peak (far right)


Cat Creek Ridge and Mount Head


Obligatory summit shot


The overgrown trail


Highwood River


82 J/7 Mount Head

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