Mount McHarg

August 18, 2012

2888m

Kananaskis – Kananaskis Lakes, AB/BC

Mt. McHarg and Mt. Worthington are straightforward, but not-so-popular scrambling objectives dominating the backdrop of Three Isle Lake, near the popular Kananaskis Lakes. They also provide excellent views of the North and South Kananaskis Passes area on a clear day. Grant and I decided to tag them during our ambitious 1-day traverse of Northover Ridge. These two peaks are often ascended together given it’s only less than 20 minutes from one to the other and I wonder why they got their separate names…

Mt. McHarg and Mt. Worthington scramble route

Mt. McHarg and Mt. Worthington scramble route

Once we got down from Mount Northover and then Northover Ridge, we had to pick up a line towards Worthington & McHarg. Obviously the ridge doesn’t connect. We were not sure the terrain on the west side, so we decided to skirt around on the east side while hugging around treeline. However, by the time we got down to treeline, Grant decided to stay higher and side-slope. I followed treeline further down, which turned out to be a good call. Eventually Grant had to come down and join me as his line didn’t work out..

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Resist the urge of gaining elevation at this point. Mt. Worthington ahead

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Above treeline again. Mount Putnik is the mountain on right side in the background

We finally traversed to the big drainage and followed it up. It was foreshortened. I almost never get lured by foreshortened view as my reference is other mountains and elevation. I knew Mount Worthington is just slightly lower than Mount Northover… At least we had to get higher than Northover Ridge though. It was mainly a rubble and talus slog. Slog and slog, we made to the col. Turn right, without a break, we started a longer slog up the south slope. I decided to grab McHarg first as it’s lower. By this time of the day, we were both beat and we went slowly. It also feels like 30 degree, and I was pretty dehydrated. I managed to eat snow though. There are 3-4 false summits on Mount McHarg so make sure you’re mentally prepared… False summits are very discouraging…

The true summit seen from one of the many false peaks

The true summit seen from one of the many false peaks

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Partial Summit Panorama. Worthington is the scree bump on right side.

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Looking far towards Mt. Assiniboine

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British Military Group. Sir Douglas on left

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Mount Joffre group

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Defender Mountain is impressive

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The majestic Mount King George

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The West side is pretty steep

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Me on the summit

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I re-filled my water bottles with snow. We glissade and plunge-stepped down the mild glacier between McHarg and Worthington to save time and energy. Mount Worthington is also 15 minutes away.

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