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A Wet and Unpleasant Traverse from Whistler Mountain to Mount Gladstone
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.21 - 11:05:50
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Border Ranges
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 1465m
Participants: Rick Collier, Mardy Roberts
Difficulty: 2: Trail hiking, followed by untrailed but moderate scrambling; some route-finding problems
This article describes a traverse from Whistler Mountain to Mount Gladstone with an exit via Mill Creek (and the difficulties of getting stuck in serious thunderstorm)
On August 12, 2010, Mardy Roberts and I made an easy ascent Whistler Mountain in the Castle-Crown region of the Rockies of southern Alberta. The climb is almost all on trail which itself is pitched at a steady but easy angle, making the ascent of perhaps 2600' efficient and pleasant. Testament to the wide vista and enjoyable scenery visible from the summit is the fact that long ago a fire tower was once located on a sub-summit to the NW.

This is not an early season ascent, however, since the start of the uptrack requires one to ford a serious tributary of the Castle River (see notes on access).

The primary difficulty is finding the uptrack on the Castle road. There are two possibilities: continue across the wash-out on foot and with GPS at the ready, watching for an overgrown remnant of the old supply track leading to the fire lookout (as shown on the topo); or back-track a ways (on foot or in your vehicle) to an open area to the E; in the middle of this open area is a dirt-bike scar (GR 943-669) - simply follow this straight up the side of the hill.

At the crest of the hill (where there is a line of dense trees), turn right and follow the crest back SE . . . there's a remnant trail here . . . until you intersect the old lookout uptrack (GR 946-667). It is now a fairly easy business to follow this trail up for over 1500'. There are, however, points where the trail vanishes into undergrowth or is clogged with new growth greenery - the trail is still there, but it's a bit of a momentary thrash getting through the alders. Eventually the trail emerges onto the NW side of a deep drainage and in the midst of an old burn; from here it's an easy slog to the open area at GR 960-677. Be sure to enjoy the plentiful flowers along the way.

At the open area the trail...

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