Partial panorama from the summit
I'm surprised that I haven't come across a trip description for Missinglink Mountain in a hiking book* or on someone's website. Bivouac.com only suggests a potential loop starting with the southwest ridge, the ridge we used to reach the summit.
From Hwy. 546 we drove a kilometre up Gorge Creek Trail and parked on the west side at the bottom of a grassy slope. As we started up the slope, we noticed we could keep right and walk around cliffs that capped the slope, but we chose to clamber up a chimney.
With most of the elevation gain under us, we hiked north on a path that followed the cliff top while we surveyed glistening, snow-covered peaks west. At the end of the cliff, the path disappeared and we took to a grassy slope. For the rest of hike, we stayed close to the ridge. When uncertain, we kept left where we found either a trail or an open slope. Only for a couple of short sections, did we do any bushwhacking, and even then there was little undergrowth.
Just before the summit, the ridge descends. Deceived by tall trees, we thought the summit was to the right. We kept right, walking through a semi-open forest. But after circling around we realized the high point was on an open ridge.
We kept our summit stay brief and then turned around. We didn't circle back but Instead headed almost directly to the last high point before the summit.
There's no reason for Missinglink Mountain to remain obscure. Open slopes and good trails link together nearly seamlessly all the way to the summit. Add vistas throughout and we had a delightful half-day trip.
* Missinglink Link Mountain will appear in the third volume of the Kananaskis Country Trail Guide. It also appears in Mike Potter's Ridgewalks book.
Big horn sheep seen from the highway.
Missinglink Mountain from the highway. Only the false summit is visible (left, mouse over).
Starting up the grassy slope, we head for the cliffs on the left.
A caged plant showed no signs of trying to escape.
We could have walked around the right side of the cliff band, but we chose to ascend a chimney.
Dinah in the chimney
View from the cliff top: a trail follows the edge of the cliff.
Hiking along the edge. Mountain views include Mount Ware (mouse over).
After the cliff path, we ascend an open slope. Bluerock Mountain behind (mouse over).
Trails in wooded areas provide easy navigation.
With openings on the ridge, we were never in trees for long.
We pass by a cutline.
For the most part, we stuck close to the ridge.
Just before the bare summit (centre left) we have to drop down.
On the summit
Back at the cliffs
Note the snow-covered path
Down the chimney
Green Mountain on the right
82 J/10 Mount Rae
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