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Pigeon Mountain
Kananaskis, Alberta
December 10, 2004
Distance: 12.6 km
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 1119 m

Despite the weather miserable and boring approach for Pigeon Mountain, Dinah and I were glad to get out at a time of year when hikes are limited.

After following the Skogan Pass trail for 5 km, we took a side trail that led up the mountain. We looked forward to emerging from the forest, but once out of the trees, there was little to see because of intermittent snowfall and rising mist. Meanwhile, the wind kicked up snow and often blotted out the scenery.

We scrambled up to the lower south peak, but learned it has little to recommend. We pushed on to the main summit. Along the way we saw some bighorn sheep. They gave way to us and scrambled down the mountainside.

We reached the summit without incident, although the weather had worsened. The weather obscured the view so much, that it was pointless to take a panorama from the top of Pigeon Mountain. We didn't stay long and decided to take a shortcut back to the car, one that would save us 4.5 km. It also took us off the ridge where wind and snow were insufferable. I set a waypoint for the top of the ski hill and used my GPS receiver to guide us down through 2 km of forest to the top of an abandoned ski hill. Although bushwhacking wasn't bad, the descent was tedious; to keep on track, we we were forced to hike over numerous small ridges. From there it was an easy one-kilometre stroll back to the car.

KML and GPX Tracks

We finally left the trees and got on the open ridge

Behind us, rising mist blocked out the views

After the trees, a rock wall came into view

The north summit is some distance away

Hiking up an obvious trail

Looking back

Collembola and Mount Allan in the background

On the slopes beneath the south summit

View of the north summit from the south summit

Following a trail down the south summit

Leaving the south summit behind

Mount McGillivray lies east

Traversing to the north summit

Mountain sheep flee as we approached them (mouse over for a close-up)

Following the ridge to the north summit

Looking back at the south summit from the north summit

Nearing the summit

It was too cold to linger on top!

After bushwhacking down from the summit we were glad to reach the top of the ski hill

82 O/3 Canmore

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