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Hassel Castle South Col
Kananaskis, Alberta
March 12, 2005

With fresh snow and more snow in the forecast, it didn't look promising for a day of scrambling in the mountains. My choice of trips made it even less promising: a valley off of Jura Creek appears too rugged for scrambling, but the only way to find out was go there and see. Given the terrain, snow, and bad weather, I expected we would be forced to turn back before getting far.

After hiking up Jura Creek for two hours, we headed up the valley. It was snowing lightly so visibility was poor. After traveling a short ways up the valley, we could see that the left slope could be ascended along the base of a cliff. It turned out to be steeper than it appeared, and there was plenty of scree to endure, but eventually we found ourselves on a col between two unnamed peaks south of Hassel Castle. We continued along the ridge-like col until we were forced to turn back because of a drop-off. On the way back, we found some good scree that quickly took us to the valley bottom.

Although we didn't reach a summit, at least we had the satisfaction of reaching a col that offered some views.

KML and GPX Tracks

Going up the false fault on Jura Creek

Scrambling in the canyon

Hiking up the valley

Entering the side valley from Jura Creek

The side valley looked dreary covered snow and under a leaden sky

We headed up the left side, along the base of a cliff

The snowfall had a surreal effect on the landscape

We broke out of the trees

It's a long climb; note the valley down below

Near the end, the grade steepens

We can now see the col

On the ridge, an impressive buttress towers above us

The scenery opened up, and we followed the ridge as far as we could

Hassel Castle appears on our left

Looking back at the buttress

Negotiating the ridge

This is as far as we got up the ridge. Note the vertiginous terrain ahead!

Returning to the base of the cliff

Back at the buttress. Everywhere, the rock looked impossible to scramble up.

Heading back down to the valley

Back in the Valley

Looking up at the base of the cliff we had climbed

Examining some shallow caves near the entrance of the side valley

82 J/10 Canmore

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