Since Dinah was recovering from a knee injury, a long hike was out of the question; we decided to do a half-day hike in the Sheep River area. “The Knob,” as it's called in the 4th edition of the Kananaskis Country Guide, is reached by starting from Bluerock Campground.
We followed a rib on the right side of a gully to reach the open slopes above the campground. At the top of the ridge we took a trail to a viewpoint. Beyond the viewpoint there are no trails, no human ones anyway, but there are some excellent animal paths. After dropping down a bit, the terrain resolved into a minor ridge not seen on the map. Sticking close to the top we encountered extensive deadfall, but as we learned on our return, this deadfall can be completely avoided by using an animal trail a bit south. If you are ascending, detour well left of the logs and you should hit this trail.
When the ridge disappeared into the slope, we hiked up and through deadfall. This time climbing over downed trees appeared unavoidable. After that we encountered little deadfall or underbrush in the forest. Although we were tempted to gain the ridge, we stayed low and contoured along the slope. Fortunately this proved easy because of a good animal trail – or I should say a series of disconnected trails that we pieced together – that neatly traversed all the way to a gully below the summit. After hiking up the semi-open gully, The Knob was just a few minutes away.
The bare summit rises above the forest to provide ample views of the surrounding mountains, and the scenery didn't disappoint. Mountains to the west such as Mount Burns were under snow, while eastward, Mount Ware and Forgetmenot Mountain still enjoyed dry slopes. On our way back to the viewpoint, we stuck to the animal trails when possible. Because of those trails, the trip was easier and more enjoyable than I expected.
View from Bluerock Campground: we ascended the open slopes on the right and traversed left
to the viewpoint
Hiking up the open slopes
Mount Hoffman lies east
On the ridge
Mount Burns from the viewpoint
The Knob lies ahead
On the descent we found an animal trail that avoided this section of deadfall
We followed animal trails that traversed the slope
The trails led to this gully
The gully tops out with a view of the summit
The summit is on the right
Heading to the summit
The summit appears to be a pile of boulders
On the summit. Bluerock Mountain in the background
82 J/10 Mount Rae
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