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King Creek Ridge (Attempt)
Kananaskis, Alberta
February 12, 2011

With the weatherman forecasting sunshine, Saturday showed promise, but instead it held disappointment. When Grant, Dinah and I arrived in K Country, cloud cover darkened the skies while wind-driven snow obliterated mountain views.

King Creek Ridge wasn't our first choice, but given the crappy weather, at least this lowly ridge appeared achievable. However, even here we were wrong.

It was Grant who not only suggested we climb King Creek Ridge – he hadn't done it before – he was able to persuade Dinah and I to do it on this miserable day. Admittedly, Dinah and I hadn't snowshoed up it, so in this regard, it appeared to be a novel endeavour, even if in near-whiteout conditions.

It turns out, the weather was the least of our concerns. The snow was abysmally poor, being so soft and deep we progressed at a ridiculously sluggish pace. Even with Grant doing an incredible job of breaking trail, never needing to even pause to catch his breath, we were out-matched by the snow. It was so deep and unsupportive, that in some places we were waist-deep in the white stuff. After climbing for two hours and 15 minutes, we had gained only 350 m of elevation, and we were nowhere near the ridge crest let alone the summit. And the falling snow showed no signs of abating. We decided to turn back. We didn't get far that day or see much, but at least we had a good workout.

King Creek Ridge fills the background as Dinah walks to the trailhead

Gentle slopes near the start

Grant grinds up a steep, open slope

Same open slope

Because of the falling snow, I can't tell if Dinah is smiling or grimacing

Grant appears to be wading in snow, but is actually snowshoeing!

Grant bends to the task of taking a step

We decide to end our ordeal here and turn back

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