When I first climbed this peak in 2000 I didn't have GPS and I thought the junction of the three ridges was the highest point. The following year I returned with a GPS and made it to 345444. Only after reading Andrew Nugara's More Scrambles book years later did I realize that GR 345444 is the summit. Unlike Andrew, however, I ascended a gully, a moderate scramble.
From about 300 m north of the turnoff to Kananaskis Village (GR317440), there's some rocks that indicate a creek bed. Follow the left side of the creek where there's a trail that goes to Wasootch Peak, but this trip description will take you to "Kananaskis Peak."
Follow the creek past where the trail heads up to Wasootch Peak. From this point on, you'll have to bushwhack. After about 30 minutes from the trailhead you'll come to a small but impressive waterfall (GR327444). (From behind the waterfall, you can view Mount Allen!)
After the waterfalls, a rock bed runs alongside a vertical face. Past this you'll reach a short, slot canyon. The rock wall on the left is near vertical so you'll be forced to burrow through the dense bushes on the right.
Skip the first gully and go up the next one (GR335447). You're in the correct gully if it curves after a bend and then opens up. Continue up the gully to a col. (The third gully can be ascended but it's very steep and less interesting.)
At the col the way along the ridge appears blocked by a rock face. Fortunately, it can be circumvented. Drop down the other side of the col and go right around the rock outcroppings. Hike up a scree-filled channel to regain the ridge. After following the ridge a short way, scramble up a narrow ridge of rock that's mildly exposed. After a short climb, the way ahead is clear to a high point where three ridges intersect. A couple hundred metres to the north at GR345444 is Kananaskis Peak which can be scrambled up although it is exposed.
For the return, head south to the col where you'll find fine, orange shale. Looking down the north side there was a natural corridor with steep rock walls and great scree: this is the fourth gully. Follow it down all the way to the creek.
View from Wasootch Peak. A ascent gully. D descent gully. S summit.
Under the waterfall
Ascending the second gully. Although we did this in mid-June, the
mountain was hit with several inches of snow the previous night.
A short scramble regains the ridge
Easier terrain on the ridge
Making our way along the ridge
Anita and Kari in a tiny cave
View to the north: in the centre is Wasootch Tower. To the right is Prairie Mountain.
An exposed ridge leads to the summit
In the fourth gully on our descent
We had fresh snow but when it's dry, it's a great scree run
Making our way back down the creek
82 J/14 Spray Lakes Reservoir
Nugara | Canada | Home