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Mount Glendowan (Attempt)
Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta
May 26, 2007

On Saturday I found myself headed to Waterton Park with Raff, Jason Wilcox and Kevin Barton to ascend Mount Glendowan. Although the weather was great – blue skies – a recent snowfall would challenge our ascent.

Following Andrew Nugara's website account, we hiked down Snowshoe Trail for about 2 km before starting up the drainage next to the south ridge. We followed the drainage a short way before heading up the forested ridge. The bushwhacking was prolonged and often miserable, but eventually we reached the treeline and started up a short scree slope before reaching the first rock band.

After scrambling up, the terrain leveled off until we reached the next crux. This time we climbed the snow-covered rock on the left. Again we found ourselves on a gentle grade, but one that was buried under snow. Ahead was the first pinnacle.

At this point, it ceased to be a scramble, and I opted to bail out. I watched the others – all mountaineers – until they were out of sight, and I started descending. I stopped below the first cliff band where it was warm and free of snow.

The rest of the group continued on. Kevin turned back at the second pinnacle, but Jason and Raff pushed on to bag the peak.

After a time, Kevin joined me, and we waited for Jason and Raff. When they reached us, we congratulated them, and the four of us decided to descend to the drainage rather than bushwhack back along the ridge. After running down a good scree slope and bushwhacking a short distance we came to the drainage that leads back to the trail.

At first the drainage was easy to negotiate, but farther down it became an obstacle course with logs, steep rock and dense vegetation. We made our way back to the trail and returned to the car.

Mount Glendowan provides good scrambling, but I'll wait for dry conditions!

Mount Glendowan from Snowshoe Trail

Raff passes a washout

Bushwhacking up the ridge

A break in the trees allowed a view of the mountain

Taking a break

We began our scramble

The first cliff band

Looking for a way up

Kevin climbs up

Raff nears the top of the ridge

A series of low ledges interrupts an otherwise smooth slope

Kevin scrambles up the slope

Jason waits for us to join him

Jason waits high on the ridge

To reach Jason we ascended the slope on the left

Mount Anderson fills the background as Jason scrambles up

Jason and Raff (in red, upper right) heading to the first pinnacle

Raff and Kevin

Raff, Jason and Kevin

Newman Peak

Looking back at the drainage we descended, Glendowan fills the backdrop. Compared with the first and third photos taken hours earlier, much of the snow has disappeared.

Kevin clings to a rock above the creek

A few hundred metres before the trail, the drainage becomes difficult to negotiate

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