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Wasootch Peak II
Kananaskis, Alberta
June 24, 2017

When Dinah and I climbed Wasootch Peak in 2005, we did so in winter conditions and stopped just short of the summit. Wanting to write a complete description for this popular peak, I returned to hike it in the summer.

The route begins on a creekbed, but what was a modest creekbed a few years ago has become a gravel highway. Be sure you catch the trail just before the gravel flats end. Otherwise you could wander far up the drainage and be forced to grapple with post-flood debris. Indeed, as I hiked along the trail I counted three side trails where parties apparently realized they had travelled too far and looked for an exit from the creekbed. The start of the trail is just 250 m from the trailhead. To find it, keep left on the gravel flats and look for conspicuous cairns. Once on the trail you should have no difficulty following it to the summit.

The trail rises steeply in the trees with few openings to take in the scenery, and few level spots to catch your breath. Until I emerged from the forest, I amused myself by trying to recognize wildflowers along the way.

Things get interesting when the path climbs to the top of a rocky ridge where the views really open up. Most of the rest of the route is visible from here. After the ridge, the trail winds up a scree slope to the summit. The steepest part of the entire route is just below it, but here you can grab onto solid rock to haul yourself up if need be. A brief ridge walk ends at the true summit. (On my ascent, there was a summit register but no usable paper.)

I returned the same way. I considered going up the creek to visit the overhanging waterfall (327444) as I did in 2001, but I expect that since the flood, that would now be an ordeal. But Wasootch Peak is satisfying enough without having to extend it.

KML and GPX Tracks


Wasootch Peak seen from Mount Allan showing the route


The trailhead is on Hwy. 40 just north of the turnoff for Kananaskis Village


Starting up the gravel flats


The trail begins on the left side at the end of the gravel flats


Cairns and even a stone arrow direct you to the cairn (upper left) where the trail starts


At first the trail runs level with the creekbed

Anyone who misses the start of trail will have to contend with flood debris in the drainage


The trail begins to climb


The lower slopes are mostly treed but there are a few openings


Chickweed


Typical hiking in the trees


Brown-eyed susan

To the west is Mount Allan (centre)


The trail continues up the ridge on the right and then closely follows the skyline to the false summit. The true summit is only five minutes from there.


Looking back along the ridge trail. Mount Kidd in the background.


Cinquefoil


There are a few places where one can scramble up instead of staying on the trail


There's a short drop after this point


A scree trail leads to the false summit


The steepest section of the entire route is ahead, just below the false summit


Looking back


Across the valley is Kananaskis Peak


On the ridge one can scramble to the false summit or hike around on the left side


Just before the summit, there's a short, narrow ridge. The cairn is on the right.

Standing on the summit


Map 82 J/14 Spray Lakes Reservoir

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