Bluerock Mountain
Kananaskis, Alberta
October 25, 2003

Bluerock Mountain makes for a long day but it's a delightful ridgewalk with some scrambling. Following Gillean Daffern's description in the Kananaskis Country Trail Guide, Dinah and I hiked to Kiska Mnoga Iyarhe. Heeding her warning in the book ("Forget about climbing Bluerock Mountain from this end; it rebuffs all scramblers' attempts."), we didn't attempt the cliffs and instead dropped down the left side until we could get around them. This involved losing over 100 m of elevation. After I first posted my trip report, Gillean emailed me to say that it is possible to stay on the ridge and ascend a chimney. Undoubtedly this direct route would save a lot of time and effort.

In any event, once we regained the ridge we had no trouble following it to the summit. Coming back, we tried to save time by contouring below the cliffs instead of climbing back to the ridge below them. Even so, we barely made it back on the trail in time to put on our headlamps before nightfall. The days are awfully short at the end of October.

KML Track


The south end of Bluerock Mountain seen from along the trail. Note the cliff band on the left side. We circumvented it by going around the left end. The summit lies in the background.


Starting up


We scrambled up this gully


Looking back


On top of the shale basin: this is the scene that greets you after reaching the high point above the bench. The cliff extends to the left and down, and that's where we headed from here.


Descending alongside the base of the cliff band


Around the end of the cliff band: we traversed left amid steep scree and slabs staying below short cliff bands. The horizontal curve of the slope limited views and made routefinding tricky.


The way up becomes clear. We traversed until we reached the bottom
of the scree leading to a break in the cliff band
.


Crossing the slabs


After climbing up the break, we reached the ridge going around a horseshoe-shaped basin. We followed the ridge up to the high point.


Finally back on the ridge


Looking back along the ridge


We followed the ridge, mostly a hike until we reached this point. Note the crescent-shaped cave on the left. The summit is still far away, well in the background on the right.


Checking out some boulders


Looking back as we approach the cave: a tangle of boulders


At the cave (mouse over to see the view of the ridge from the cave)


Some easy scrambling before the summit


Some routefinding too!


Threepoint Mountain and Mount Rose in the centre (click for a larger image)


Banded Peak in the centre


Mount Ware


Heading down from the summit


Negotiating rocks below the summit


Back above the cliff band


Bottom of the shale basin: Instead of climbing back up we kept right and traversed below the ridge


Our traverse took us by some interesting rocks


Back at the resting bench where the hiking trail ends. We scrambled up the slope on the right, but on the return, we went around the west side (left in the photo).


82 J/10 Mount Rae

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