The Fortress and Gusty Peak
Kananaskis, Alberta
October 9, 2004

Dinah and I decided to climb The Fortress and Gusty Peak in one shot. The ascent up The Fortress was worthwhile and straightforward, and we had no problems. But Gusty Peak was a 540 m slog up miserable scree, made worse by a blinding snowstorm.

I had heard of parties turned back on Gusty because they were unable to find their way up even in good weather. So as we climbed above the basin on our way to The Fortress, I was careful to note Gusty's route from the basin. It was especially helpful since after summiting The Fortress, visibility was reduced to a few dozen metres; we ascended Gusty in a whiteout. It took nearly two hours to climb from the basin to the summit of Gusty Peak; snow-covered rocks and blowing snow slowed our progress.

Views on both summits were obscured so panoramas weren't possible.

MOVIE (posted on YouTube)
KML Track


Hiking to Chester Lake


Gusty Peak and The Fortress ahead


Leaving Chester Lake behind


The Fortress is hidden in clouds. On the way back, this valley would be blanketed under snow (mouse over).


Ascending the Chester-Fortress col


Looking up after reaching the col


The weather turned ugly


It's just a hike from the col to The Fortress summit block


Some scrambling just before the summit


On the summit of The Fortress


Visibility was extremely poor when we started up Gusty so I was counting on my earlier observation of the ascent route on our way up The Fortress


We couldn't see much so we hoped we were on track


Slogging up the endless scree on Gusty Peak


Almost on the summit of Gusty Peak


Dinah stands on the summit


Starting down


Heading down the scree from Gusty Peak


Back in the valley below The Fortress


Looking back at The Fortress


Hiking back down the valley


Last look at The Fortress


82 J/14 Spray Lakes

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