We weren't sure what to expect when we parked at the “double drainage” start for Mount Kent. But sure enough, we noticed two drainages just a couple of dozen metres apart. Either drainage can be taken – they meet 60 metres from the highway – but the left one comes to a log jam that's best avoided.
We hiked in trees alongside the creekbed. Travel was easy at first but then we encountered deadfall, slick with recent rain. When the sides of the drainage rose up making it too steep for travel, we dropped onto the creekbed. Here water flowed over smooth rock so we had to be careful not to slip. But there were plenty of obstacles, such as steep, smooth slabs, that often forced us up onto the banks where we had to work through vegetation.
After schlepping up the drainage for an hour and a half we came to the first fork. We knew about Andrew's amendment to Kent's route description: we didn't take the left fork, as the book says, but instead went right and then took the next left fork. (His photo indicates these turns.)
We scrambled up rock slabs and hiked alongside the drainage before reaching a notch in the slope where the gully appeared to end. Because of the lay of the land, we could see little more than the steep slope immediately in front of us. Going left on a mix of grass and rocks looked easier, although we couldn't be sure where it led.
As we climbed, the grade steepened and we wondered if we were going to be stopped by smooth, steep slabs that appeared above and to the sides. However, we didn't have any problems, although the steep grade kept our hands on rock and off our cameras. After reaching easier terrain it was largely a hike, albeit still steep, to summit.
We started our climb under blue skies but even though clouds had been gathering, we still had nice, clear views of the surrounding peaks. (We noticed, however, that we came up 100 m short of the book's 950 m elevation gain. We had gained only 849 m, a figure in keeping with the contour lines on the map.)
After staying for a half an hour on top, we explored south along the ridge. When we came to a cliff band, however, we decided to head back down. Following the book's recommended descent, we headed to the col. Our progress, though, was often blocked by steep slopes or dense bushes and trees. We ended up traversing high and left until we reached a large drainage which must crossed to reach the col.
Below the col, the soft, black scree of the drainage appeared inviting, but first we hiked to a high point on the other side of the col. From there we surveyed the broad slope beneath Kent's summit. We tried to pick out our ascent route, but had trouble finding it in the patchwork of rock slabs.
After starting down the drainage it began to snow, snow pellets actually. It snowed all the way back to the car. We were thankful to have missed the snow while on the steep slabs and grassy slopes.
Following the drainage
Because of flowing water, the creekbed was slippery.
The drainage forks ahead.
Like the photo in More Scrambles
Dinah and I ascend either side of this slab, too smooth and steep to scramble.
The gully ends here and we head left.
Climbing on a mix of grass and rock
Steep slabs around us
It may be grass and rock, but it's quite steep.
Left or right? We went left, alongside slabs, but ascending the low cliff band would work too.
We reached the ridge less than 100 m from the summit.
On top of Mount Kent
To reach the col we have to cross a drainage (mouse over to look up the drainage).
On the col
Before going down the drainage on our right, we stopped at the high point ahead.
Our ascent route was somewhere in the slabs on the left. (click to enlarge)
While heading down the drainage, we pass stegosaur plates (mouse over to back up)
82 J/11 Kananaskis Lakes
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