December 27, 2011
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.
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.
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.
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.