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Winter Ascents of Warden Rock, Barrier Mountain, and Gable Mountain
Timestamp Free: 2018.02.19 - 21:26:49
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges
Participants: Reg Bonney, Bob Saunders, John Northwood, Alistair DesMoulins, Gail DesMoulins, Carmie Callanan, Christine Grotefeld, and Rick Collier
Difficulty: 3: Moderate scrambling
This account presents a climbing trip done in early February of 1992 by eight Old Goats in an area usually cut off from ascents by difficult river crossings
Many winters in the Rockies have over the last thirty years been characterized by low snowfall until the middle of February, with perhaps one out of every five being sufficiently dry to permit hiking until well past the point when one expects to ski. Such was the case with the winter of 1992, and as a result a group of Old Goats chose a three-day weekend (depending on work schedules) to attempt a trio of peaks rarely visited since the Tyrell Creek bridge across the Red Deer River was pulled. For most of the year the Red Deer River is far too deep and swift to be safely forded by backpackers, and the trail (S of Tyrell Creek) leading SE to the Panther River has largely been abandoned except for horse travel. The peaks to the E of this trail and S of the Red Deer River - Warden Rock, Barrier Mountain, and Gable Mountain - have therefore been cut off from alpine ascents. However, the Red Deer is sufficiently low in the middle of winter to permit an easy, if chilly, crossing; the problem during normal snowfall years is getting from the Yaha-Tinda Ranch (at the end of the ploughed road) to just W of the park boundary, a distance of some 15 km.
On February 8, a group of eight of us - Reg Bonney, Bob Saunders, John Northwood, Alistair DesMoulins, Gail DesMoulins, Carmie Callanan, Christine Grotefeld, and Rick Collier - started out bright and early from Calgary for the three-hour drive to the Scalp Creek parking area just S of the ranch (note: this parking area is now closed, and one must now park at Bighorn Creek several km further E). For those of you unfamiliar with the access to Yaha-Tinda, here is a brief summary: drive the 1A NW out of Calgary to Cochrane, turn N on highway 22, continue to Westward Ho, where you turn W on highway 27, and proceed for a few km to...
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