Wedge Mountain & Greenhill
Dinah and I wanted to attempt a peak in the Flathead Range on Saturday, but after driving to Crowsnest Pass we learned that the area south of Highway 3 was closed due to a fire ban.
We decided keep our original plan to do Crowsnest Mountain on Sunday, but instead do two short trips on Saturday. Referring to the Hiking the Historic Crowsnest Pass book, we chose to hike up Wedge Mountain north of Coleman, a modest peak with an elevation (according to my GPS) of 1923 m and a gain of 450 m. After parking at the south end of the mountain, we followed a vague trail up its ridge.
Just below the summit we were overtaken by a German travel journalist, Bernd Wagner. Bernd writes travel guidebooks and was researching information for his next book. On the summit we talked at length, and I invited Bernd to join us in climbing Crowsnest Mountain the next day. (After descending Wedge Mountain, he told us he decided not to include Wedge Mountain in his book because of the poor trail.)
After parting with Bernd at the bottom of the mountain, Dinah and I went to see the abandoned coal mine on Greenhill Ridge near Blairmore. The site has several intact buildings that can be explored. We couldn't follow the book's instruction to reach the upper mine because of intervening private land but we did explore the lower mine. (The upper mine can be reached using a road, but because of the distance, it's best to bike it.) In our age of plastic and microchips, it was fascinating to see bulky equipment comprising cast iron and wood dating back 100 years!
Wedge Mountain seen from the visitor info centre
A cairn on the shoulder
The low ridge on the left is Iron Ridge.
The slope is largely open.
Closing in on the summit
Bernd on the summit, Crowsnest Mountain in the background
Lower Greenhill mine was dynamited shut
The snow shed (mouse over to see inside) leads to the mine entrance.
Turtle Mountain in the background.
Lamphouse and boiler house
I tried to operate the hoist without success.