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Holy Cross Mountain
Kananaskis, Alberta
September 25, 2004

Holy Cross is an enjoyable scramble and one that I recommend. You can park at Sentinel parking lot and take Pack Trail Coulee, but you gain and lose 100 m going over Grass Pass. The shortest route is up Gunnery Creek trail: park on the highway shoulder about a kilometre west of Sentinel parking lot. (We went up Gunnery Creek but for a change of scenery, we returned via Pack Trail Coulee. The profile indicates our return trip.)

At 705878 you'll reach a high point on the trail and start dropping down. Follow this for a few minutes before leaving the trail and heading NW. After about 500 m of easy bushwhacking, you should encounter a good trail, freshly blazed. I assume this trail reaches Gunnery Creek trail, but it would be longer and would lose elevation.

Head west on the blazed trail until you come to a grassy knoll. I lost the trail here but was unconcerned. A few dozen metres away is a good animal trail. Head west up a lightly wooded slope and you should soon come across it. The trail breaks out of the trees onto a talus slope where there's a good view of Holy Cross Mountain. We started up the gully and angled towards the NE ridge, but after summiting, we descended the NE ridge. In hindsight, the reverse would be better – up the ridge and down the gully – offering good scrambling up and loose rock down.

KLM Track

As we started off, the sunrise turns the rocks red

We passed a stand of aspen turning yellow

On the blazed trail, Holy Cross comes into view. The trail appears to end on the grassy knoll ahead.

From this animal trail, we'll drop into the valley below

After reaching the valley we started climbing

We reached the base of the gully

Studying the gully

We decided to start up the right side

The gully is probably best done on the return leg

Dinah makes her way around a small cliff band

We left the gully and started up the ridge

On the summit

Coming down from the summit

We tried continuing along the ridge towards Mount Head but were stopped by a knife-edge ridge

Coming down the NE ridge

The ridge offers interesting scrambling

Partway down the ridge

Looking up from the NE ridge

Back at pass

Back on the trail

82 J/7 Mount Head (gully ascent not shown)

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