Looking west from the high point

Stimson Creek Hills
Kananaskis
March 8, 2014

After chinook winds broke a prolonged cold snap in Southern Alberta, Sonny, Dinah and I were itching to get out. Because of the avalanche risk in the backcountry, the foothills looked like a safe bet; we decided to snowshoe up the unnamed hills east of Stimson Creek.

Beginning on Hwy. 532 at an information pullout for Willow Creek Public Land Use on the edge of Kananaskis Park, our route described a loop. We started up a long, gentle ridge before turning left and following undulating ridges to our highest point, a bald spot that offered views of snow-covered mountains to the west. Then we dropped down to Stimson Creek and followed the creek back to the road.

The snow cover on our trip ranged from soft and deep to “Where the heck is the snow?” Mostly, however, we travelled easily on a thin layer of snow. Even so, I saw more snow in this area than in winters past. A typical winter should see much drier slopes and our loop is more likely to be a winter hike than a snowshoe excursion. Indeed, because there is little underbrush I think Stimson Creek Hills would make a decent offtrail hike.

Sonny's Trip Report
KML and GPX Tracks


Our trip began with the ascent of this long ridge to a high point (mouse over)


From the car we angled left and soon gained the ridge


We're well on our way to the ridge crest


Not much snow on the crest


Making our way to the first high point


Much of our trip was in trees, so we appreciated this treeless little point


Looking back from the high point


Continuing to the next ridge section


We found deep, soft snow here


But the other side of the ridge was dry


Dropping down to reach the next section (mouse over to look back)


Back in the trees


Heading to the highest point of our trip


This is as high as we got


Summit views were confined to the west


This ridge led us down to Stimson Creek. Indian Graves Ridge on the right.


Dinah takes a tumble after losing control on steep snow


We followed Stimson Creek to the road


82 J/8 Stimson Creek

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