The Fortress and Gusty Peak
Kananaskis
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, and it was made worse by a snowstorm.

I had heard of parties turned back because they were unable to find their way up Gusty 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 and 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


Leaving Chester Lake behind


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


Ascending the Chester-Fortress col


Looking up after reaching the col


The weather turns 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


Slogging up the endless scree on Gusty Peak


Almost on the summit of Gusty Peak


On the summit


Heading down the scree from Gusty Peak


Back in the valley below The Fortress


Heading back down the valley


82 J/14 Spray Lakes

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