I had some time to kill on my day off after scrambling up Turtle Mountain, so I went to the Frank Slide interpretive center. After that I drove off to the IGA to get some salads etc. and after a bite drove to Coleman.
Still more time to kill so I thought about a treat and went into the Union Hotel for a draft beer. This was my first beer in a month and when they asked me if I wanted another I said no and received a puzzled expression.
Then I was off to Crowsnest Mountain.
From the Highway I was immediately impressed with the appearance of the mountain, a singular uplift seemingly un-scramble-able from this side. I drove up Allison Creek road to the base of the mountain where I found a nice streamside camp at the trailhead. Three fellows from Edmonton were enjoying a discussion about their day on the mountain.
I had a nice sleep only waking occasionally to view Mars, and then later in the night, the Moon. The night was warm and I used no fly on the tent.
In the morning, the usual prep, goop up, eat some grub, pack, cane, crooked hat and go.
I caught up with the family that had left before I got under way, passed them and by the time I was into the first rock band they were just getting to the talus slope.
Once I was up through the second kick-ass rock band (chain), I followed trails, and some how made my way to the east ridge. It seemed like I could continue on the ridge, but being alone I thought it best to carefully down climb and find the trail again.
The summit was all mine and I could feel the steepness around me. Crowsnest is a cool mountain. I will go back some day!
On the way down I caught up to the family just as they were getting back to the parking area. One of the older boys said “we would have made it, but dad is getting old” within earshot of said dad. I think dad would have done better had his giant belly been a bit leaner. After all, he had been up to the top four times by his recollection.
Chin up dad.
In retrospect it may seem to some a courageous act to go up a mountain like Crowsnest Mountain alone.
Looking back on it, at the time, it was a new level of commitment for me. (It’s really not that bad though)
Early in the summer I had found a new friend and in helping her to scramble safely I had kind of helped myself too. So I really didn’t feel like I was alone on this adventure.
Thou hast a voice, great Mountain, to repeal. Large codes of fraud and woe; not understood by all, but which the wise, and great, and good interpret, or make felt, or deeply feel.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
1792-1822, British Poet