Mount Cornwall

October 11, 2020


Elbow River / Kananaskis Country, AB

Mt. Cornwall is the tallest of the “Elbow 4 Peak Traverse” from Mt. Glasgow to Banded Peak. These peaks form a group that’s super visible from Calgary and the lack of technical challenge means it’s a must-do for peakbaggers and scramblers based in the Rockies. It really makes no sense to not do them together in one shot as the ridges connect well and the approach for each of them individually is long and boring. I lived in the Rockies for about 4 years but somehow missed out this trip, and now in October 2020 Winnie M. and I drove from Vancouver all the way to the front ranges of Kananaskis to complete this mission. Earlier in this trip we had just done Mt. Glasgow.

Glasgow to Banded Traverse route. GPX DL

The weather had been a mixed bag so far. We started under some bluebird skies but now at Glasgow/Cornwall col we were soaked in a snow blizzard with virtually zero visibility and horizontal wind gusts. Thankfully the temperature wasn’t too cold. The plod up Mt. Cornwall from Glasgow/Cornwall col was pretty straightforward even in the conditions we had. We did have to deal with some loose and slippery terrain especially nearing the ridge crest, and once onto the ridge we got hammered by some very strong winds. We had to fight hard to maintain balance in this wind. The upside was the clearing trend in the weather and by the time we approached the summit of Mt. Cornwall the blue skies showed up again and the snow storm stopped.

Winnie plodding up above Glasgow/Cornwall col in snow storm

We aimed for the ridge above.

This stretch was very loose and slippery

Winnie on the north ridge of Mt. Cornwall now with Mt. Glasgow behind

As you can see, the wind’s howling on the ridge

The final push to the summit of Mt. Cornwall

Winnie traversing the north ridge of Mt. Cornwall

Winnie on the summit of Mt. Cornwall

Me on the summit of Mt. Cornwall

Unfortunately the summit was not sheltered from wind so we couldn’t linger for too long. I was hungry and thirsty but the summit of Mt. Cornwall was practically just not a good place to stop for food. Descending the south ridge of Mt. Cornwall was a shit show again with strong wind gusts blowing horizontally from the west trying pretty damn hard to blow us off the mountain. We had to hunker down several times in order to just stay on the mountain. The col between Mt. Cornwall and Outlaw Peak was still very windy but not as bad as up on the ridge, so we took a long food break before resuming the traverse towards Outlaw Peak.

Descending the south ridge of Mt. Cornwall in the howling wind

This picture captures the situation pretty well…

Lower down on the south ridge of Mt. Cornwall

Battling against the wind approaching Cornwall/Outlaw col