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Horseshoe Ridge
Whaleback Area, Alberta
December 30, 2007

With dry conditions persisting in the Whaleback area I returned to ascend Horseshoe Ridge. After parking on Saddle Mountain Road I started hiking up a 4x4 road that led to open fields. To gain the west end of Horseshoe Ridge I first made my way through an unnamed ridge using a pass. After leaving behind the open spaces, I hiked through trees to reach Riley Creek which cuts through the pass.

After crossing the creek and minutes later, a tributary, I made my way up the west end of Horseshoe Ridge. In a short time, I was hiking on the mostly open south slopes. On a sunny day I probably would have enjoyed the scenery, but under overcast skies the landscape appeared dreary.

I made it to the false summit I had seen from Saddle Mountain Road only to find a higher point farther west. After reaching the cairn on the higher point I noticed yet another higher point. This, the true summit, turned out to be two metres higher although there was no cairn. After a brief stay, I headed back down.

There was enough variety on the terrain to make this a worthwhile trip although the ups and downs added another 300 of climbing to the 700 m of net elevation gain.

KML Track


Horseshoe Ridge from the road: the summit is hidden.


I'll get around the ridge in front of me by going left to a pass


The area supports a few huge trees. Here I'm standing beside the largest one that I came across.


I dropped down, crossed a creek below, and climbed up the treed slope only to realize it wasn't part of the ridge but a hill. I dropped down to another creek on the other side. On the return trip I avoided the elevation loss by hiking northwest around it.


An ice dam on the creek


I'm on the ridge and have finally gained some elevation.


An unnamed mountain to the northwest


I followed the ridge which leads to the false summit in the centre


My next objective is the half-bare ridge on the upper left


The first false summit is the peak in the centre.


On the half-bare ridge


A pleasant walk on the ridge


A false summit is ahead and the true summit is on the right.


Looking back at the open ridge I followed.


Looking east from the second false summit


The true summit is the bland-looking, snow-covered ridge on the left


Almost on the summit


On the summit. L to R: Coffin Mountain, Mount Livingston, unnamed, and Saddle Mountain.


Saddle Mountain


Coffin Mountain


82 J/1 Langford Creek

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