Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Wasootch Peak in March

After the easy but beautiful like of Burstall Pass, This past weekend an opportunity presented itself in the from of doing a hike/scramble in Kananaskis area with a group of 8 others and go to Wasootch Peak. We started late but I was part of a group and didn't have a choice. Although it was not very far from the city limits we only were able to start at 09:30. The first part of the trip was from inside the woods and easy. Then we hit the trail on a rocky area and on a ridge. We had to use our micro spikes because of the ice. The weather was good and although cloudy, there was not much wind. That's what made the trip easy. It required route finding which I always like as long as I don't waste too much time and get lost. Finally we reached the summit at about 12:00. A few of the people wanted to walk on the nearby ridge and reach the next summit which is known by a number and I don't remember it. I found it useless. The route was very exposed, the snow just was started and there was actually nothing to gain by going to that summit. 
While on the peak we saw a small heard of Mountain Sheep in the adjacent ridge, the very one that a few of the group members took to go to the nearby peak. Not having a strong lens, I was not able to get a good shot but in this one you can see them almost on the center of the photo when they were leaving the ridge. If you look carefully, you can see one of the team members on the right, on the ridge, going up!
While a number in the group headed down and on the ridge to reach that summit the rest headed back to the parking lot. One problem was the number of time people stopped for break and the amount of time they wasted on the peak but once again I was part of the group and had to follow. Going down was harder than we had thought. We had to be sure that we were taking the right route and for that we had to alter our ways a few time. Or maybe I should say we I had to alter my way because I was the first one going down just the way I was going up. Not to mention that just close to the peak one member with all gray hair caught up with me and reached sooner. Generally there were a few people with good speed. Anyways going down I found myself ahead of everyone and at a moment I was not able to hear or see them. I thought I would be fine and I had just follow the trail but as usual I lost the route and wasted a few minutes going up and down or left and right! In one of these rushes I hit my left knee harshly to a rock which to this moment is in sever pain but I had to continue because I didn't want them to go ahead of me and wait for me. That would not have been a good impression for the first time. I finally fond the trail which was going down beside a creek. It's amazing sometimes how similar some of the trails are. The trail which goes to the top for Wasooth Peak is very similar to the one which takes you up The Wedge in many ways particularly on the creek side. 
I finally reached the cars around 14:15 and realized that nobody was there! I sighed and waited for them to come. Overall the hike/scramble to Wasootch Peak in March is a very good work-out. A combination of hike, scramble, route finding, nice views, dealing with ice and snow and finally exposure. It is highly recommended. 
(Photo, top: Wasootch Peak with its cairn. At the left side you can see Ribbon Peak)

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