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Barnaby Ridge
Castle Wilderness, Alberta
September 6, 2009

In good weather we could have overlooked the bushwhacking, side-sloping and scree-bashing, but having to also contend with freezing rain and high winds made our ascent of Barnaby Ridge miserable.

After climbing Southfork Mountain last year we wanted to return to bag nearby Barnaby Ridge. Studying a map, it appears easily ascended via the west drainage. Following logging roads and clearcuts, we reached the drainage only to find it surrounded by dense bush, wet with recent rain. We made our way to the left side of the drainage and found easier passage near the edge of the forest. Continuing alongside the drainage, trees gave way to low bushes and grass and then to scree. That's when the weather turned bad.

Fortunately when we summited the weather began to clear and the wind abated. Our discomfort was forgotten as we gazed at the colorful scenery around us. After our visit on top we started descending only to be struck again by fierce winds. But we came down fast on good scree until we reached vegetated slopes. Then we bushwhacked back to the logging road. I don't know if there's a better ascent for Barnaby Ridge, but certainly better weather is possible!

KML and GPX Tracks


Barnaby Ridge seen from the road (mouse over for our approximate route)


Following a logging road


When the road ended, we headed to the edge of the forest left of the drainage


More bushwhacking than we cared for


Travel was easier in the trees when there was no deadfall

Edible berries (clockwise): Oregon grapes, raspberries, Saskatoon and thimble berries


Andrew Nugara scrambled up the rocky ridge above, but we avoided it because of bad weather


Another look at the ridge


We continued up the drainage


Mount Haig and Gravenstafel Ridge behind


We'll soon be hit by wind-driven rain

Mist formed and flowed up the mountain


A scree slog to the ridge


Heading to the summit from the ridge. Last year we reached the red peak (right) after climbing Southfork Mountain


The summit


Beaver Mines Lake and Table Mountain (in the back)


The sky cleared by the time we reached the logging road


82/G8 Beaver Mines



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