View looking east

Odlum Ridge
Kananaskis, Alberta
November 15, 2008

After attempting Bishop Ridge last week and seeing how dry the Highwood area was, we returned to ascend Odlum Ridge. We drove a short distance past Lantern Creek day use area and parked at the side of the road by the trailhead.

After passing the boulders that mark the start of the trail, we almost missed the sharp left turn just metres from the boulders. This road sent us around a long, U-shaped bend before reaching the Highwood River. We ditched our waders on the other side and hiked up the road to the cutline.

After a 40-minute hike from the river, we reached an obvious drainage and crossed it. We started up the left bank before realizing there was no easy way to reach the open slope that led to the south ridge on our left because of a steep, treed slope. (Later, on the descent, we concluded we should have walked 100-200 m past the drainage before leaving the trail and starting the ascent.)

We continued up the left side of the drainage until we were forced to cross to the open, grassy slope on the other side. Ascending this took us to the top of the southwest ridge which abuts the south ridge. This turned out to be a pleasant alternative to reach the south ridge. Once on the south ridge we followed it to the east peak, the highest point on Odlum Ridge.

Our stay was brief. There was little to see or photograph because of clouds and blowing snow. On a nicer day we would have continued to the centre peak, but instead, we headed back along the ridge. This time we stayed on the south ridge passing the southwest ridge we came up. We followed the grass-covered ridge until it descended into trees where we picked up animal trails leading to the bottom. The network of crisscrossing trails was so dense so one could travel easily in any direction. We ended up on the main trail 200 metres west of where we started our ascent.

Odlum Ridge probably doesn't see many ascents, but even in poor weather, we thought it was a worthwhile, late-season climb.

KML Track

The Highwood River crossing was 40 metres lower than the trailhead

Hiking up the two steep hills on the cutline

The drainage before the south ridge

Hiking up the drainage

It became impossible to stay on the west side of the drainage so ...

...we crossed the drainage and followed an animal trail. Eventually we
would end up on the shoulder on the skyline.

After the trail deteriorated we took to the open slope

We followed the ridge to the shoulder on our left

Partway up the shoulder, looking down at the lower ridge we had been on

Last of the fall colours

After reaching the south ridge we can see the summit (far left)

The ridge is treed for a short way

The way is clear after the trees

Poor weather limited the view of surrounding peaks

Leaving the high point before the summit

Last stretch to the summit

Kicking into the snow. Summit on the right.

Looking back along the ridge

The summit

The ridge leads to the centre peak

We hiked under gray skies and in blowing snow, but the peaks on the other side of the highway
basked in sunlight

We followed the south ridge back down to the Odlum Creek trail

Looking northwest at Lineham Ridge. Below is the southeast ridge we ascended from the

Mount Odlum to the west

Looking back up the south ridge to the skyline notch in the trees where we came down

The south ridge splits lower down. We took the open right side (seen here).
The east peak and Bishop Ridge are in the background.

82 J/7 Mount Head

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