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Smoky September on Mount Cline, Southwest Ridge 5.4
Timestamp Free: 2019.08.22 - 02:40:09
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges
  (2 days)     Elevation Gain: 2000m
Participants: Stephan M, Gerry Richardson, Tyler Owen, Daniel Bakke, Alex Joseph
Difficulty: 4: Mainly a scramble with two gaps rated 5.4 II
A warm but smoky late September ascent of the Southwest Ridge, 5.4 on Mount Cline.
I saw this trip posted on the Calgary Scrambling and Mountaineering Club trip board and Gerry was asking if someone wanted to lead the two gaps. A quick look at some pictures online and I was in, as it was an 11,000er as well and I had never been down the David Thompson Highway. Gerry recruited 3 others and the trip was on.

We met at the traditional Shouldice Park parking area and then car pooled to Lake Louise for some coffee (chai for this guy) then up the Icefields Highway and the David Thompson Highway to the parking area.

From here we headed off up the drainage into the flower filled meadows and orange colours of a forest fire blackened forest in late Fall. It was a trail to begin with on the side of the creek, then we crossed and followed a trail on the west side of the drainage ascending a gentle grade until the drainage narrowed. The trail then turned west and ascended a debris fan that was solid mud and rock.

Slow steps up eventually led to a slippery crossing of the debris central channel and up into the pines to contour north below steep cliffs. Once around the cliffs, the trail continued up the valley over talus and boulders and eventually to some small lakes where we set up camp. [photo]8021952738_4e5fa9c4e9_oa.jpg[caption]Hiking through the fire charred forest up the drainage from the parking area[/photo]

[photo]8031792204_cf742a2de3_ka.jpg[caption]Beautiful campsite (highlighted in Corbett's 11,000ers of the Canadian Rockies)[/photo]

The campsite was spectacular (even with the smoky hazy skiies). I had read about it in the back of Bill Corbett's book "11,000ers of the Canadian Rockies". And he is right, it is a beautiful spot, made even more beautiful with the lack of bugs and fall coloured grasses and flowers.

Before sunset, we set up...

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