Saddle Mountain

September 1, 2012

2433m

Lake Louise, AB

My original plan for the second day of my September long weekend peak-bagging trip was Resolute Mountain in David Thompson Country, but it was pissing rain pretty badly in the morning so I drove back to Saskatchewan Crossing. The rain got heavier further towards west and it was very hopeless. There’s really not much I could do nearby so down southwards I went. It was snowing hard near Bow Summit but once at Lake Louise I figured I just had to bag something. Given the unstable weather I only had two choices – the lowly Saddle Mountain which is a mere outlier of the more-popular Fairview Mountain, and Devil’s Thumb above Lake Agnes. Given the fact I just did two trips bagging Mt. Niblock and Mt. Whyte separately earlier this year, I opted for the former.

Saddle Mountain standard ascent route

Saddle Mountain standard ascent route

I quickly made my way to the mega trail-head by Lake Louise and then the Saddleback Pass trail. I only brought 0.5 L of water with me, along with one sandwich and one jacket. Because I didn’t start too late, there weren’t too many tourists on the trail, good. Oh man, this mountain is so short.. There were several good viewpoints on the way up. This time there were both some low clouds and also a high ceiling. Near the pass, there was fresh snow on the trail. The sky cleared up briefly. The rain turned into mixed precipitation. Minutes before the pass, I left the trail and boulder-hopped up towards the mountain. It was very short and I didn’t take long to make to the summit. Surprisingly, this little peak offers better view towards Temple and Paradise Valley than the nearby Fairview.

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Nice view of Fairview Mountain from near Saddleback Pass

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Another view of Fairview

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More of Fairview Mountain

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Haddo Peak was too shy to fully show up.

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Clouds temporarily moved in and then moved out.

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Mount Temple

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Mount Temple of left; Sheol Mountain on right.

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Fairview Mountain seen from the summit.

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Looking towards Upper Bow Valley from the summit.

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Very interesting clouds

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Looking down the shear face towards Paradise Valley

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More interesting clouds towards North

Due to the thunderstorm concern, I quickly made my way down after taking these photos. I didn’t get soaked on the way down. If you look for a day to kill time or simply a 2-hour-peak, you should consider Saddle Mountain. After this short, albeit unexciting day I had to think about what to do next

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