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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-14-2014, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Default The Wedge

The Wedge
June 11th 2014

After working 8 days in a row and finally a day off, a trip to the mountains was a must (even if it was only for a day). My dad was able to get the day off too which was nice. I was looking for something rather shortish, but also exciting, as I needed to make it back to Edmonton not too late. After getting some inspiring views of The Wedge from an ascent of opal ridge north a couple weeks earlier, it seemed like a great choice [and it was ].

To get to the trailhead, go right after the metal gate from the parking lot and follow the wide open hiking path for a minute. There should be a trail on the left marked with flagging. I also made a cairn here to help. The trail starts with some deadfall but quickly improves and follows a drainage for a ways. But eventually the trail crosses into an avalanche runout and disappears. From here we decided to ascend directly up the steep grassy slopes. Otherwise you can find the trail again on climbers left.

Lots of snow and post-holing in the trees once we gained the ridge that leads to the base of The Wedge. The NE slope leading to the summit ridge starts off with some interesting scrambling but soon turns into a short slog to the top. Then you are treated to an exciting ridge traverse to the summit! No snow provided interference and the crux is quite easy for Kane to rate it as difficult, I was able to ascend it on the way back without using my hands.

No wind, no bugs, cool temps, awesome views, and so a great and enjoyable summit stay. On descent we stuck to the trail along the treed ridge but that just caused more encounters with snow and should have just followed our more direct ascent line through the steep grassy slopes.



1. The Wedge from the parking lot.
2. Making our way up alongside the drainage.
3. An avalanche runout zone, trail can be found again on climbers left. We went straight up from here.



4. Almost at the base of the Wedge after some strenuous but short post-holing. At least out here the snow hard enough to keep us on top, most of the time...
5. Me making my way up.
6. Soon you encounter some scrambling.



7. Short slog to the summit ridge.
8. View of the summit and its connecting ridge.
9. Balancing my way down the crux.



10. Photo taken on return. My dad making his way up the crux. It looks more challenging than what it really is.
11. Me approaching the summit.
12. Looking back at the ridge from the summit.



13. Looking towards Opal Ridge. Went up the kane north peak with my dad a couple weeks ago and continued along the ridge for little ways before turning back. Apparently there was a fatal fall, somewhere along the ridge, a few days earlier?
14. Summit shot.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zefbYbad06Q
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-16-2014, 12:13 PM
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Had been wondering how snow-free that summit ridge was. Good to know! Nice photos of the crux and thanks for the update!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2014, 09:02 PM
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Thanks for the report. I'm headed there tomorrow.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2014, 09:48 PM
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Over the years I've heard different opinions re crux; from "difficult/scary" to "moderate/not a big deal". Having never been up myself, judging by your video it still looks fairly narrow and exposed.

Enjoyable report; well done!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-20-2014, 10:03 PM
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Good photos! They actually make it look more difficult than it is lol.

I found it to be a moderate scramble with several "difficult" steps at the downclimb right behind the false summit. Exposure on the right is bad enough to kill you, and very steep slabs on the left. Kind of "Lady MacDonald lite".

I think it's a good peak to begin with for someone who wants to start doing "difficult" scrambles.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-23-2014, 01:45 PM
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I had gone up the Wedge 10 years ago I didn't even know there was route to the true summit. We turned around before the crux. Since then, I've gone up quite a few of Alan Kane's 'difficult' scrambles.

After reading this post, I thought it might be a good peak to return to and check it off the list officially. Especially with it being a short outing and with rain in the forecast for noon.

While the crux is short, it certainly warrants a 'difficult' rating. A fall to one side is almost certainly fatal, a fall on the other side would likely lead to severe injuries with a chance of fatality. The section is narrow and in places the rock is loose. Walking across it, without reducing the chance of a slip or fall with the aid of your hands is somewhat foolish.

I would say The Wedge is very similar to Mount Lady MacDonald. Mostly a slog, with one difficult section. The Wedge crux is shorter, slightly wider, but with worse rock.

Some pics of the crux:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/markos...57644908669787

https://www.flickr.com/photos/markos...57644908669787

https://www.flickr.com/photos/markos...57644908669787


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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-23-2014, 06:48 PM
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I tried Wedge last year but did not ascend all the way and skirted the summit block around to east side of the mountain because I wasn't sure where I was going. When coming back around I noticed the cairns leading up towards the top. It was late and I decided not to go up the rest of the way.

Now that I know where to go and having watched the video and reviewed Marko's photos I think I'll try a few more moderate climbs before attempting the crux here. I might still keep it on the list for this year though because I'd like to see it in person before giving it a complete pass.

Thanks for posting the all the information everyone.

Can any recommend a few moderates that would help one gain experience? I've walked the ridge on Gap Peak and hiked up Grotto Mtn so far this year not too much in terms of hands on. Been on Heart Mtn, Baldy, Opal South, Wasootch peak, Yam, EEOR to name a few others.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-23-2014, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Bradorr

Can any recommend a few moderates that would help one gain experience? I've walked the ridge on Gap Peak and hiked up Grotto Mtn so far this year not too much in terms of hands on. Been on Heart Mtn, Baldy, Opal South, Wasootch peak, Yam, EEOR to name a few others.
From memory Indefatiguable North-South traverse, as well as Rae if you stay on the ridge all the time. Both offer convenient bypasses on the side, if one starts feeling too exposed. Should be snow free. Squaw above Canmore has very short approach and plenty of hands on that are somewhere on upper moderate border.

Plenty of other suggestions will follow I'm sure
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-23-2014, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
quote:

Plenty of other suggestions will follow I'm sure
I'm interested in getting some experience on some more moderate scrambles too, and I'm looking forward to learning about some of these.

Does the Kane book give a good gauge for difficulty?
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
quote:

From memory Indefatiguable North-South traverse, as well as Rae if you stay on the ridge all the time. Both offer convenient bypasses on the side, if one starts feeling too exposed. Should be snow free. Squaw above Canmore has very short approach and plenty of hands on that are somewhere on upper moderate border.

Plenty of other suggestions will follow I'm sure
Thanks for the tips, I appreciate the feedback.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Squaw's Tit is a great moderate scramble, did it last week. Good amount of scrambling along the ascending ridge and around the summit nipple.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLlfTnFBCEM
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 05:10 PM
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Just did the wedge yesterday. For a 5 hour trip i have to give this one a 5 star rating. Great views, great trail and fun sections along the ridge. Perfect for a late afternoon start. Gotta love the k country views. I was wondering how the approach to fisher peak is now with the flood damage to Evan Thomas creek...
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