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Scrambles and Sandbags II: Cinquefoil Mountain
Timestamp Free: 2019.10.14 - 19:52:05
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges / Jacques Range
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 1230m
Participants: Sandy Dong, Dave Milling, John Shellenberg, David Wasserman
Difficulty: 2: Mostly easy scrambling, with one difficult section; routefinding
A Grant MacEwan Mountain Club group scrambled most of the way up Cinquefoil Mountain before running out of time because of routefinding difficulties.
After some success on Hawk the previous day, we were looking for a shorter day so that we could drive back to Edmonton by a reasonable time Sunday evening. "Fiddle-Sulphur Ridge" from Mike Potter's Ridgewalks in the Canadian Rockies received some consideration, but we settled on the Cinquefoil Mountain scramble from Kane's Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies, where it is described in the mildest of terms: "an easy scramble"; "4-7 hours"; "a long, lazy ridge" with "little actual scrambling and offers a straightforward way to get up high." So soon did we forget Kane's sandbag description of the return times on Hawk!

Cinquefoil Mountain (2260 m) is at the north end of the Jacques Range, adjacent to the Colin Range that we had been on the previous day. The Merlin Pass Trail runs up Jacques Creek and over Jacques and Merlin Passes in the valley between the two ranges, and the Merlin Pass trailhead, on the Yellowhead Highway, is also the starting point for the Cinquefoil scramble route.

None of us had ever scrambled Cinquefoil or hiked the Merlin Pass Trail, and despite countless trips along the Yellowhead Highway among us, none of us could recall ever having noticed the trailhead. Thus it was with a certain degree of curiosity that we set off after checking out of the Wapiti frontcountry campground. The weather had improved since the previous day, being dry and warm with scattered cloud, and remained that way all day.

After getting separated by heavy fifth-wheeler traffic leaving the campground, John and I were some ways behind Sandy and Dave, but they were back in sight as we neared the likely section of highway. I saw Sandy brake and pull over to the shoulder several hundred meters ahead, just past a paved area on the south side of the...

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