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Mount Cornwell from the Northwest # 13324

Below is a description of the photograph you were looking for, and the circumstances surrounding the photo.
Date: 2009.07.11
Vantage Point: Just West of Fording River Pass (continental divide)

Caption: The northwest aspect of Mount Cornwell

PhotoDescr: This photo was taken on my hike in to Tuxford Meadows; here are my notes on the trek from the carpark to Fording Pass:

"I parked in an open area about 3.3 km S of Highwood junction on the gravel FSR (Hwy 940). I needn't labour the 14 km hike from 940 to Fording Pass since the details and complexities are discussed at length (although not always with accuracy) in Gilean Daffern's Kananaskis Country Trail Guide, 3rd ed, Vol. II: p. 59 (route #221): 'Baril Creek to Great Divide Trail' and pp. 78-80: 'Fording River Pass'.

I found the main ORV track fairly easily and followed it (with occasional checks with the guidebook) for 6.3 km as it meandered pleasantly enough through meadows and pine forest, although with little in the way of views except for delightful flowers and shrubs. At this point the road from Etherington Creek joins the track I was on, and both drop down to Baril Creek, which is crossed easily on logs; it's worth noting that this trail crosses the stream a number of times, all on logs, something that might be a matter of concern in inclement weather since these logs could be quite slippery.

Just after this first stream crossing, the guidebook description got confusing (at least for me) - one actually should stay high on the cut-line road (despite some up and down) rather than descending to the creek, as Daffern suggests, since the track there is completely flooded out; of course this may not be the case later in the season. Both routes lead to the meadow at about km 7, where the old mill was situated (the line of blue stakes supposedly marking the trail is now missing).

Shortly after this meadow, as I tried to follow the guidebook's directions for progress along Baril Creek (after its intersection with the GDT), I got entwined in a maze of game trails, side-hilling above the creek, and bushwhacking - probably a result of my own navigational shortcomings since I was able easily to follow the trail on the return trip. In any case, one should take care at this point and be sure to stay on a well-worn trail which begins to climb up the right-hand (N) side of the creek.

When I was back on track, I stopped briefly for a snack at James Lake, a shallow body of water surrounded almost entirely by forest; there is, however, a backcountry campsite here for those travelers who want to stretch out to two or more days the hike over to Tuxford Meadows. It's mostly uphill from here to an open area of talus and boulders, a ragged heap of rock and debris through which, surprisingly, the old exploration road has been bulldozed. Then around and slightly down to the right to cross a side valley (pretty waterfall here) and then doggedly up and into the alpine.

It is easy to lose the trail here and even easier to misinterpret the guidebook's directions; the best advice is to cross the pass on the left (S) side, under the battlements of Mt. Cornwell, keeping an eye out for the old exploration road (it does not follow the route shown on the topo)."

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