East Peak of Wendell Mountain
Kananaskis, Alberta
April 28, 2006

Dinah and I had some unfinished business on the East Peak of Wendell Mountain. After nailing down most of the route amid fascinating landscapes on the scenic route on our February attempt, we wanted to return to bag this peak.

As before, we took the trail up to the east ridge of Mount Yamnuska and the horse trail down to the CMC Valley logging road. We hiked up the road for about 500 m where the slope on the right opens up and we headed to the pinnacles.

We made poor time however. Dinah was slow and she required frequent rests. She was recovering from the flu and was still weak and nauseous. She wasn't sure how far she would be able to go. But it was a beautiful day and we were in no hurry to get back.

After resting at the pinnacles we continued on to the lower slopes of the east peak. Eventually we made it to our turn-around point on our attempt. The way up from here seemed uncertain, but we soon caught a trail in the scree that headed towards a daunting rock wall.

Dinah was now on an "adrenaline rush." Her symptoms anesthetized in the bid to reach the summit. Her problems would return on the descent, but for now she was eager to push on. Before we reached the rock wall we found a break that led to the ridge. From there it was a gentle grade to the summit.

Despite the altitude and a breeze, we were comfortable lounging on the summit without jackets. We spent half an hour studying our surroundings. Wendell Mountain looked rugged while Association appeared benign save for an extended approach.

We were glad to summit of course, but it seemed anticlimactic. The real excitement was on our attempt when we explored the canyons and searched for a way up.

Postscript: I returned in December and discovered that the East Peak can also be reached by ascending the East End of Wendell via a route that offers interesting scrambling. Better yet, do a loop by combining both routes.

KLM Track

MOVIE (posted on YouTube)


Our approximate route (photo taken from the NE Ridge of Goat Mountain)


Harbingers of spring in the mountains


We head to an animal trail on the scree slope below the pinnacles


On one of the pinnacles


The pinnacles never fail to impress. We still haven't regained the elevation lost from coming
down the east ridge of Yam.


The view ahead from the pinnacles


Hiking around to the SW slopes below the summit


Ascending the lower slopes


Much of the terrain is scree mixed with slabs, with emphasis on the scree!


Heading to the cliffs above


We could have walked around the cliffs but we scrambled up


We found a break and took it


Before reaching the rock wall, we found a weakness on our right that took us to the ridge
(click for a larger image)


Looking back at Goat Mountain

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On the ridge where it meets the rock wall. From here it's a hike to the top.


Looking back at Mount Yamnuska


The summit is on the left


View of the east ridge of Yam where we were a few hours earlier


Epic Tower (mouse over for a close-up) and Mount Townsend to the northwest


On the summit. Association Peak on the right.


82 O/3 Canmore

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