North End of Plateau Mountain
There seems to be no quick or easy way to get to the north end of Plateau Mountain. Rather than follow Salter Creek, we decided to reach it by following the ridge to the southwest. (We didn't attempt the North or South Summits which are better reached from Hwy. 940 when it's open.)
At the start we learned that the road leading to the campground/trailhead was gated so we had to walk up the road for nearly a kilometre. We hiked up Salter Creek a short way before ascending the ridge.
Other than a couple of tiny breaks in the trees, we bushwhacked for two hours without views. Once we reached the open slopes of the north end, we finally got to look around. To the west we could see the snow-covered High Rock Range while Plateau Mountain unfolded to the south.
We explored the top for a ways. We dropped down at one point to look for a cave (not the ice cave) but it proved to be a difficult task without knowing where exactly it was and we were short on daylight. Returning on a slightly different route, however, we were able to spot it. Next time we'll know how to get to it!
Making our way up Salter Creek to the end of the ridge ahead
Mount Burke (mouse over for a close-up)
Reaching the north end
Snow drifts on the east slopes
Continuing along the plateau
Baril Peak, Raspberry Ridge (foreground) and Mount Armstrong
Looking back at the north end
View of the plains
We hiked to the end of the ridge ahead
End of the ridge with Sentinel Peak in the background
Another view of Sentinel Peak
Looking for the cave
Coming back through a fractured slope
More fractured slope
Mount Burke again
Looking back at Plateau Mountain
A squirrel's cornucopia of pine cones
82 O/4 Banff