Yates Mountain

December 27, 2011

1996m

Kananaskis – Highway 40, AB

This was the last day of my 7-day Christmas solo peak-bagging adventure. My original plan was to scramble up Mt. Baldy. But the wind speed was approaching the craziest that I’d ever experienced before. I could barely stand balanced in the parking lot… Yates Mountain is a good alternative located near Mt. Baldy, and it’s just a forested hike. The summit is more commonly known as Barrier Lake Lookout, McConnell Ridge or Prairie Lookout. But since I’m a peak-bagger I’d prefer the name with a ‘mountain’ in it.

Yates Mountain (Barrier Lake Lookout) hiking route

Yates Mountain (Barrier Lake Lookout) hiking route

The crux of the day was to hike across the dam. I barely moved across without being blown away. Thankfully it was warm wind otherwise I would have turned back immediately… The hike itself was boring since most of is was in the forest. The trail was packed down so I didn’t need snowshoes, nor did I bring them. The view opened up once I made to the first lookout. Continuing up for another half an hour or so brought me to the windy summit. There were a couple man-made structures destructing the view.. The view was good though, and I escaped from the bad weather that hovered around further west, and got some sunshine here.

Panorama of the frozen Barrier Lake. Mount Baldy on left

Panorama of the frozen Barrier Lake. Mount Baldy on left

Sunrise over Barrier Lake

Sunrise over Barrier Lake

This would be my objective. Looks mighty?

This would be my objective. Looks mighty?

Views from the beginning

Views from the beginning

Looking into Kananaskis Valley from the first lookout

Looking into Kananaskis Valley from the first lookout

Barrier Lake, with Mount Baldy behind

Barrier Lake, with Mount Baldy behind

The summit ahead

The summit ahead

Mount Yamuska

Mount Yamuska

A heli pad on the summit.

A heli pad on the summit.

Panorama of the Prairie

Panorama of the Prairie

Panorama of Bow Valley

Panorama of Bow Valley

I didn’t linger too long on the summit since I had to get back home on time. On the way down I passed a huge group of Calgarians on their way up, and the rest of the return was uneventful. The wind was not as crazy as in the morning when I crossed the Barrier Lake Dam.

Zooming-in into Bow Valley. You can see Mount Lawrence Grassi and Ha Ling

Zooming-in into Bow Valley. You can see Mount Lawrence Grassi and Ha Ling

Skogan Peak

Skogan Peak

The clouds provide some interesting lighting

The clouds provide some interesting lighting

Back down to Barrier Lake, looking into Kananskis Valley. Weather must be nasty around there.

Back down to Barrier Lake, looking into Kananskis Valley. Weather must be nasty around there.

A last look at Barrier Lake before driving home.

A last look at Barrier Lake before driving home.

After this ascent I drove back to Edmonton and picked up my mom from Airport just in time. Overall it was a very satisfying week in the mountains. It’s my first time planning all of these by myself and it certainly got me prepared for future adventures.

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