Cloudy Ridge Junior
August 13, 2016
height: 2585 m
Elevation gain: 1100 m
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
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.
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.
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!
beginning and the end, a great day out!
Cloudy Ridge: Senior on the left and Junior on the right
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!
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
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
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!!!