Posted - 04/17/2011 : 09:41 AM
I was looking at Google Earth for a fun snowshoe trip, something with not a lot of avalanche risk. I noticed this little Mount Lawrence Grassi outlier had a treeline that extended right up to the summit with an opening at the top for views. I couldn't find any name reference to it, so I dubbed it Nephew Peak, because it looks onto the Three Sisters. Now I realize the Three Sisters are actually the Three Nuns, but I thought it was a fun name.
I did a little bit of scouting last weekend to see what it would be like and the incomplete GPS trail is from that day. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my GPS unit with me yesterday, so I don't have the full route.
The path we took starts off from a residential street in Canmore. The hydroline and the Benchlands trails saved us a bit of bushwhacking, but eventually we went into the trees. We encountered an obstacle early on, in form of a cliff, which we were able to get through via a narrow ramp while using trees to pull ourselves up. This can probably be avoided entirely by going further west along the Benchlands trail and then going up.
Once past the cliff, it was pretty straight forward all the way to the top. The summit is a bit exposed to avalanche risk on the east side. We approached it from the west. The snow was quite deep and caution was needed to differentiate between rock and cornice. When we finally reached the summit, we had no views. It was a full on whiteout.
We didn't stay on the summit for long. Minutes after we left the summit, it started to clear up and we started seeing blue sky. This always seems to happen! We tried to avoid the cliff by going east of it, but this was quite steep and there were a few face-plants. I would not recommend taking the same way down.
I'd guess the elevation gain to be around 700 - 750 meters. A pretty good workout on snowshoes. The snow was quite deep, over a meter in places.
On a side note, the highway conditions yesterday were horrible. We saw four trucks in the ditch, rolled over and badly damaged. Traffic was moving at about 60-80 kph the entire way to Canmore. Conditions were much better when it warmed up in the afternoon.
The route (the red line is an approximation):
> Incomplete GPS trail
More photos here:
Edited by - Marko on 04/17/2011 09:41 AM