View from centre peak
Ridge, North and Centre Peaks
I had two reasons to return to Pincher Ridge. I wanted to bag the peak after a failed attempt on the NE ridge and I wanted to take in the colours of the area. The latter meant traveling farther down the ridge to ascend the centre peak, which was fine by me.
To reach the north peak, I used the SW ridge. Rather than hike up the road I decided to cycle it. Unfortunately strong winds conspired to make this means of travel arduous. The headwind slowed my progress considerably and sometimes, when the wind caught me sideways it threatened to blow me off the road.
After a thirty-minute ride I stopped about 100 m short of the end of road, where it takes a sudden dip. The right side of the road was wooded but a dead tree provided a marker should I come back on the road to find my bike. I stashed my bike behind the dead tree and set off into the trees. After taking a few steps I realized I was in an obvious corridor. By chance, I had found a hidden, crude path: someone had cleared the undergrowth and flagged a trail!
The trail led to the edge of the woods where it disappeared. From there I easily ascended the steep, grassy slope but when I hit the scree my ascent slowed. Eventually the grade eased, my pace quickened and the black summit came into view. After a thirty-minute break on the top I descended to the col between the north and centre peaks. I looked back to view the colored slopes and was not disappointed! The NE ridge was especially brilliant, as if someone had poured different colours of paint over it.
I continued along the col and up the other side towards the centre peak. Before I reached the centre peak, though, I had to negotiate the cliffs below it. The last 10 m was difficult, exposed scrambling but it brought me to a plateau with a summit bump.
After reaching the summit I noticed I could quickly and easily hike to the next high point along the ridge. I was curious if it was possible to continue on to the south peak. When I reached the high point it did indeed appear that I could have hiked all the way to the south peak. If only I had the time! Reluctantly I turned back.However, I enjoyed hiking back along the ridge because of the colorful landscape ahead. I returned to the col and soon reached the SW ridge. I ran down the orange scree that I had slogged up earlier and found the trail that led to my bike. I expected my bike ride to be fast and it was! Pushed by the wind and pulled by gravity, I covered the 3.7 km back to my car in eight minutes. I don't know if I'll ever return to Pincher Ridge but if I did I think it would be great to do all three peaks!
On the road to Pincher Ridge. South and centre peaks seen here.
Hiking up the slope near the road. My bike is stashed almost directly below me.
Miserable slog on orange scree. Centre peak is above me.
Windsor Mountain and Castle Peak
The orange scree leads to the black rocks which, in turn, lead to the north summit
Pincher Ridge's north peak and highest point
Final hike to the top. Here the wind is really knocking me around so I kept away from
the edge. While setting up the camera for this shot I was knocked over twice and that
was from a kneeling position!
My summit stay was cold and windy
View from the top of the north peak
The south and centre peaks of Pincher Ridge
I set off for the centre peak. From here the cliff band looks like it could be a problem.
View of the centre peak from Victoria Peak. Mouse over to see the crux. I kept to
the left side.
Victoria Peak and the colorful NE ridge of Pincher Ridge
The walk along the col between the north and centre peaks ends with a crux
(mouse over for a close up)
Coming up to the crux
Looking back at the north peak and the NE ridge. Prairie Bluff in the background.
A cliff band lines the left side of centre peak
Looking back at the north peak from the top of the crux
After the crux it's a walk to the summit of centre peak
There was no cairn on the centre peak so I stacked a few rocks
Centre and north peaks from 500 m farther down the ridge
Another view of the south peak shows the gentle connecting ridge. Victoria Ridge in
82/G8 Beaver Mines
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