Cloudy Ridge Junior

August 13, 2016

Mountain height: 2585 m
Elevation gain:    1100 m   

Solo scramble.
There’s a right way to ascend the “other” summit of Cloudy Ridge and plenty of wrong ones. The right way is to use Mike Potter’s description in Ridgewalks in the Canadian Rockies. The wrong way is to follow everything I did on this exploratory route (except the middle part – that was great!)
The goal was to see if I could find a more direct route to the summit, using the obvious drainage north of the summit. The short version is that this route was perhaps the worse bush-whacking, side-sloping, route-finding disaster I have ever experienced. The only thing that kept me moving was the fact that I was too afraid to turn back and attempt to retrace my steps through the aforementioned mess.
Above treeline, the ascent to the highpoint at the end of the ridge was awesome – some fun hands-on scrambling and dramatically improving views. Not having Mr. Potter’s description handy, I wasn’t sure that the huge cairn at this point was the end of the line, however, the true summit was still a little away and I was quite motivated to continue on. The final stretch to the summit was excellent, once again featuring some good scrambling and interesting route-finding.  
After taking in the terrific summit view and then ruling out the option to scramble over the Cloudy Ridge Senior (easily accessed from Red Rock Canyon), I had to decide on a descent route. I had scoped out a potential route, west of the nightmarish terrain I had ascended and upon reaching the end of the ridge, decided that this was worth a look. The route started very well but ended very, very, very badly, with bushwhacking even worse than what I had ascended. Stumbling back onto the main trail was a massive relief!   
Besides the beginning and the end, a great day out!

Cloudy Ridge: Senior on the left and Junior on the right

Mount Dungarvan

A close-up of the ascent ridge of Cloudy Junior

Peaks of the Dungarvan massif from left to right. Note the naming scheme:
Galwey, "Dunwey (Rogan)", Dungarvan, "Dundy", Cloudy Ridge, "Cloudowan", and Glendowan

Lots of photos before even reaching the trailhead! Cloudy Junior again

The hay bails certainly add to the terrific scenery. Rogan Peak (Dunwey Peak) looks to be quite significant from this vantage point

Dungarvan (left) and Cloudy Junior (right) from the trailhead

The fascinating rock strata of an outlier of Mount Yarrow

The start of the nightmare

At least there were decent views of Mount Yarrow along the way

The nasty route ahead

At this point I descended (fell through dense brush!) to the creek and the side-sloped on the other side

The nightmare finally ends!

Pleasant terrain up a creek and to the ridge

Interesting combination of rock and moss

Looking back down the creek I came up

Mounts Yarrow, Roche, Loaf and Spionkop Ridge were prominent throughout

Onto some decent rock to ascend up to the ridge

A red argillite gully was a great way to gain the east end of the ridge

The east end cairn. This the end of the line for Mike Potter's route

Typical terrain, on the way to the summit

Love the lichen!

The summit

Cloudy Ridge Senior is obviously the closest neighbour to Junior

Looking down the colourful north side of the mountain

Part of the summit view

"Newman Senior" (the unnamed peak east of Newman Peak), Newman Peak and the summit of Spionkop Ridge

Loaf Mountain

"Cloudowan Peak"

There did appear to be a scramble route to Cloudy Senior, but it was too big of a day for me

Mount Yarrow and Roche are immediately north

More lichen

Back the east end, characterized by blocks of lichen-covered argillite

Looking down the first part of the descent route. The goal was to go other to the left side of the ridge and then follow another creek out bad route!!!