Mountain height: 2,241 m (7,350
Elevation gain: 728 m
Ascent time: 2:25
Descent time: 2.15
Hiking with Mark.
The rationale behind choosing this easy hike
was that given the snowy and cloudy weather forecast, we wouldn’t be missing
too much, in terms of scenery, by ascending this minor bump west of
Some the best scenery of the day actually came right at the beginning as we ascended slopes to the start of the ridge. Twisted, wind-formed trees, covered in a light layer of fresh snow, with a surprising blue sky behind, kept the cameras out of their cases. Unfortunately, that blue sky was soon replaced by a white, gray mass of thick cloud and we spent the remainder of the ascent in more or less whiteout conditions. Nevertheless, the ridge was interesting, if not terribly challenging.
At the summit, the weather situation was much the same and so we sat down and patiently waited for a break in clouds. The occasional patch of blue raced by and the sun did come out periodically, however, there was no significant improvement and so after an hour, ten minutes at the chilly summit, we started back.
On descent, the clouds did clear a little more, revealing fantastic views of mountains of the Continental Divide – Loomis, Bishop, McPhail, Muir, Strachan, MacLaren, and Armstrong. With a blue sky behind, the scene may have produced some remarkable photos. Unfortunately, the sky was white, not blue, and so a return trip is definitely in order. An easy and pleasant day out in terrific surroundings.
(When I purchased Volume 2 of Gillean Daffern’s Kananaskis Country Trail Guide, a couple of years ago, I thought that I might use it once or twice, however, it has proved to be a gold mine of terrific hikes with stunning views – thanks Gillean!)
A couple of interesting trees on the southwest side of Junction Hill
A closer look at the above tree
Approaching the first summit cairn; a second and slightly higher cairn stands another minute away
Stopping to check out beautiful mountains of the Continental Divide: left to right: Armstrong, MacLaren, Strachan, Muir, and McPhail
A closer look at Strachan, Muir, and McPhail
The west side of Holy Cross Mountain
Looking south at highway 940; Raspberry Ridge is just right of centre