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"Cat Creek Ridge"
Kananaskis, Alberta
October 14, 2006

After last year's attempt to reach the summit we returned this year to bag the peak. This time we hiked deeper into the valley below the ridge before starting our ascent. We were hoping to do a ridge walk, but the crest was a crumbling knife edge, so we dropped down and traversed on the rubble below it.

We headed for an obvious point, but it turned out to be a false summit. Behind it was another sharp ridge. The left side was steep slab, but fortunately we were able to traverse on the right side where we could easily scramble up to the summit.

Instead of returning the same way, we dropped down the southwest side and angled back down to the valley where we had started the ascent.

It was a fine day with surprisingly warm temperatures. The slopes were completely dry. In contrast, our mid-September trip last year was cold and the mountain under some snow. However, last year we saw a dozen mountain goats on the mountain. We were disappointed not to see any on this trip. Instead, we caught only a glimpse of a mountain sheep.

MOVIE (posted on YouTube)
KML Track

Before reaching the end of the valley, we headed up the slope on the right

Seen from below, the summit lies between the low bump on the left and rock outcrop right of centre

Starting up

We left the grassy slopes and started up the rubble

Cat Creek Knob behind us

We headed to the false summit

Looking down at the col between Cat Creek Knob and Cat Creek Ridge

Traversing slabs

The false summit is still distant as we ascended the ridge

Following the ridge isn't the way to go so we dropped down and traversed below it

Looking back from where we had gained the ridge

False summit above

Looking back

False summit on the left. The true summit is just beyond the point on the right.

Traversing below the summit

Patterson's Peak on the right

On the summit

Unnamed peak (centre) and Serendipity Peak (left)

On our way down

False summit is above Dinah. The true summit is in the centre.

Interesting cloud formation

Looking back at the ridge from a window (mouse over)

Heading back, the tip of Junction Hill appears (mouse over)

Cat Creek Ridge from the highway (mouse over for our route)

82 J/7 Mount Head

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