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Mount Lipsett
Kananaskis, Alberta
September 25, 2010

Distance: 13.8 km
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 875 m

Mount Lipsett has been on our to-do list for a while and with larches turning yellow in Highwood Pass, there was no better time go.

After the trailhead, Dinah and I turned left at the first fork to get onto the former highway. Here, much of the trail was wet and muddy, something we didn't expect late in the season. And this section of trail seemed interminably long. Just when we thought we'd fall off the edge of the earth, the trail folded back on itself and began climbing. Still, we had a long way to go before we even reached the treeline. Perhaps it was just as well that we spent most of the time in the trees, for it was blustery on the open ridge.

The hike to the summit was uneventful except for the grizzlies we spotted below us on the lower slopes of Mist Mountain. Not only was there a large silverback digging on the grassy slopes, but a few hundred metres away was a sow with her cub. We spent several minutes watching the bears. The sow and cub headed in the direction of the silverback, but apparently turned around and moved farther away when they spotted it.

It was too windy to stay long on the summit. On the way down, we noticed we could take a shortcut back that would be both quicker (cutting off 600 m) and take us through a grove of larches. The shortcut proved easier than we expected; we followed a narrow grassy strip that led back to the trail. No bushwhacking. There seemed no other easy shortcuts after this, and we had to contend with a long, winding trail back to the car.

KML and GPX Tracks

Much of the lower trail was muddy

Elk Range on our left

Mist Mountain comes into view

On the return, our shortcut avoided this stretch of road

The summit is far right, in the background

Looking back

Heading to the summit

Approaching the jagged summit

Dinah makes her way to the top of Mount Lipsett

On the summit

The view northeast, Highwood Ridge in the foreground

A grizzly forages in the valley below

Sow with her cub

Heading back. Odlum Ridge left

Larches on the shortcut

82 J/10 Mount Rae

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