June 23, 2012
Kananaskis – Exshaw / Bow Valley, AB
The main purpose of this trip was to buy a pair of mountaineering boots (on sale) in Calgary and since I’d already drive that far I should have ticked off a few peaks despite the rainy weather. I started the drive after lunch on Saturday and got the boots at around 4 pm. I didn’t linger any longer and started the drive into the Rockies.
It was pouring hard and I couldn’t even see Mt. Yamuska’s face until almost arriving at the Highway 1A junction. The rain eased a bit and I thought I might had just enough time for a quick ascent of Exshaw Mountain. This is probably the least interesting, and yet officially named summit. It’s heavily forested from bottom to top and the ascent involves fair amount of bushwhacking. There’s still 400 m elevation gain so if you do it for a mere exercise, there’s some.
Anyway, I started the ascent at about 6:30pm, under light rain. Those who have bushwhacked in rain know what’s going to happen. I didn’t even bother to use the waterproof boots nor gaitors because I didn’t have the experience of dealing with bad weather. I paid for the consequence, my boots and pants got completely soaked literally after 2 minute of bushwhacking. I did get some descent view of the Exshaw Plant and Lac des Arcs at the beginning, but most of the mountains were covered in clouds. What’s funny about this mountain was, the higher you go, the less view you can get. Eventually I hit the summit and all I could see was trees and clouds.
After taking an obligatory shot of the summit cairn, I bushwhacked down. I tried to find a trail but couldn’t. Except for adding another named summit to my growing list this was a totally pointless ascent, and I did not enjoy any section and I certainly wouldn’t recommend to anybody looking for views.