KC = Kananaskis Country Confines of Cougar Creek - Page 2 - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

 12Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #16 of (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 12:46 AM
Hittin' the Trails
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Posts: 34
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilR View Post
What would be neat to explore is this nice little block up the valley that you highlighted. I've stared at that on google earth many times and wondered what it would be like to climb up there and enjoy the little plateau.


Neat block
Went up Charles Stewart South (Nuk Peak / Buffalo Point) on May 6, before the big snow dump. Snapped a couple of pics of this plateau you wondered about. Looks like it would be merely a walk up from the west side. Pics here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/969819...7668278987055/ and here https://www.flickr.com/photos/969819...7668278987055/
warawa is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #17 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 02:53 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
PhilR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Canmore, AB
Interest: Being outside! Hiking, Scrambling, Trail running
Posts: 312
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by warawa View Post
Went up Charles Stewart South (Nuk Peak / Buffalo Point) on May 6, before the big snow dump. Snapped a couple of pics of this plateau you wondered about. Looks like it would be merely a walk up from the west side. Pics here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/969819...7668278987055/ and here https://www.flickr.com/photos/969819...7668278987055/
Oh neat! Nice photos. Yeah, doesn't quite look as impressive as I imagined it would if it were a wall all the way around. But hey, isn't that life. Still, one day it would be neat to go stand there. Thanks for the thoughts and the post!
PhilR is offline  
post #18 of (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,877
Default

South East Branch off Canadian Forks, June 25 '17

Being first really hot day of summer '17 in Canmore (+30) I figured I'd go and cool myself off in Cougar Canyon; shade, and running creek make things considerably cooler than in the valley. Creek was still flowing pretty good & dozen or so but easy rock-hops were necessary. Despite snail pace I was still by Canadian Forks in no time. Sat on the rock and considered where to go. Daffern talks about some '10 m high waterfall' in south fork, but I remembered report from PhilR where he went up SE Fork and encountered some really neat scenery. There is actually good trail on (climber) right side of the drainage but I found it only on return. It leads to some real impressive rock climbing walls; I think this is what Daffern refers to as "Planet X". Found ropes hanging off, and to my surprise large pack of climbing gear (see photos below) -- I thought it was someone climbing but it was still there on return with nobody on sight. Beyond no trails, but trip becomes very scenic. Creek appears with tiny cascades and small pools, and is sheer joy. Eventually canyon opens up a bit and you reach large snowfield on right side -- deposit of spring avalanches. Very neat waterfall above. This was near 2000m & I was actually curious how far I could get, but this was end of the line for non-technical travel. Canyon narrows, walls become vertical. Remembering some neat pools from Phil report I figured I must get a bit higher and trashed up dirt slope on left side. This led to really neat viewpoint and I could see the pools and where canyon ends. Further non-technical travel, at least on this side, is impossible. It might be feasible to continue a bit on the other side, but that would involve potentially risky crossing of that snow field which had caves and moats beneath. So I called it a day.

Photo Story:

Click image for larger version

Name:	climbingwall1.jpg
Views:	117
Size:	1.79 MB
ID:	210201
'Planet X' climbing wall, about 10-15 mins from Canadian Forks

Click image for larger version

Name:	climbingpack1.jpg
Views:	128
Size:	1.59 MB
ID:	210185
Climbing gear left hanging, incl. water bottle. Quite a lot actually -- is this custom???

Click image for larger version

Name:	climbingrope1.jpg
Views:	119
Size:	1.86 MB
ID:	210193
Climbing Pitch up 'Planet X'

Click image for larger version

Name:	SEFork1.jpg
Views:	91
Size:	1.83 MB
ID:	210209
Beyond climbing walls travel is less strenuous and quite scenic

Click image for larger version

Name:	SEFork4.jpg
Views:	116
Size:	1.75 MB
ID:	210225
Canyon opens up further; this is where Daffern called it quits, but she missed the most scenic part! If you come here, keep going -- best is yet to come

Click image for larger version

Name:	SEFork5.jpg
Views:	93
Size:	1.89 MB
ID:	210233
End of the line; note snowfield, and waterfall coming off sheer cliffs. Some serious caverns and moats below

Click image for larger version

Name:	SEFork3.jpg
Views:	108
Size:	2.00 MB
ID:	210217
What the canyon looks like past the snowfield

Click image for larger version

Name:	SEForkLowerFalls.jpg
Views:	92
Size:	1.88 MB
ID:	210241
Waterfall and snow field from dirt slope I trashed up, looking for Phil' pools

Click image for larger version

Name:	SEForkUpperFalls.jpg
Views:	149
Size:	1.88 MB
ID:	210257
Telephoto to upper waterfall; would be neat to see if there is small lake at the bench between two waterfalls, but I wasn't high enough

Click image for larger version

Name:	SEForkPools1.jpg
Views:	114
Size:	1.70 MB
ID:	210249
Pools at the end of Cougar SE branch. Very neat! Photo is awful (Phil has much better one, please do post if you see this), but I had heavy SLR around my neck and this place is somewhat exposed

About 45min to an hour from Canadian Forks, and about 4 hrs return trip from parking at Benchlands Drive (Lady Mac trailhead). Recommended!

Last edited by zeljkok; 06-26-2017 at 09:16 PM.
zeljkok is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #19 of (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 09:59 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
PhilR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Canmore, AB
Interest: Being outside! Hiking, Scrambling, Trail running
Posts: 312
Default

Oh, nice!

Glad you got up there, and I am surprised that the snow was still there, but I guess it is a point of pretty much permanent shade and it was a large snow bank back when I was there. I suppose I will give it a few more weeks before I give it a second shot at getting up through the canyon.

Funny that you did exactly as I did, got to the canyon, backtracked a bit, up dirt to the viewpoint and then realized it would not connect through because of the large drop-off.

It is a lovely little area, and makes me want to get to those pools and explore further.

It is going to be a balance of wanting water low enough to get through the canyon, but not so low that those plunge pools are dried up or stagnant. Maybe I'll take my wetsuit for my next effort! haha

Last edited by PhilR; 06-27-2017 at 12:30 AM.
PhilR is offline  
post #20 of (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,877
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilR View Post
It is going t one a balance of wanting water low enough to get through the canyon, but not so low that those plunge pools are dried up or stagnant. Maybe I'll take my wetsuit for my next effort! haha
So you would go through the canyon? I thought right (south) side, opposite 'dirt slope' we both went up would be another option. If you remember there is fairly wide grassy bench on that side; it goes much further than dirt slope (but I couldn't see what's on the other side). Getting to it would involve crossing that snow thing & there are moats and caves right now, didn't feel comfortable.

Exploring is fun!
zeljkok is online now  
post #21 of (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 12:27 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
PhilR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Canmore, AB
Interest: Being outside! Hiking, Scrambling, Trail running
Posts: 312
Default

I followed that bench up to a narrowing ledge that had about a 5m down climb that I didn't want to go over at the time. I don't know if there is a moderate way through that down climb cliff. I had figured that the canyon would be simpler once the snow melted out, and left a rubbly creaked, even one that had a foot of water on it, I think it would be easy enough.

Here is a better angle on the pools, taken from high on that ledge, although only taken with a pretty old and clunky phone:
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_5646.jpg
Views:	133
Size:	2.53 MB
ID:	210265
PhilR is offline  
post #22 of (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 12:33 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
PhilR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Canmore, AB
Interest: Being outside! Hiking, Scrambling, Trail running
Posts: 312
Default

Here is a bit of a view on the wall opposite the dirt bench (again excuse the bad photo):
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_5654.jpg
Views:	117
Size:	1.63 MB
ID:	210273
PhilR is offline  
post #23 of (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,877
Default

Great stuff Phil. You might be right @ canyon be the best option. I think you went a bit higher than I did, judging by both of these 2 photos
zeljkok is online now  
post #24 of (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,877
Default

East Fork off Canadian Forks, July 23 '17

PhilR asked if I was interested joining him in exploring East Fork, only bit where neither of us has ventured very far. Phil had exploratory objective in mind --- loop around Cougar Peak followed by descent into main Cougar branch (as for Mt. Townsend). I was not sure if I was up for whole thing, but was willing to tag along for a bit; Daffern talks about some waterfall higher up East Fork I wanted to see, so that sounded like agreeable plan for both of us.

Long story short: The further you go up East Fork the rougher it gets. There are several short scramble steps, then about 40 mins in from Canadian Forks you get to Daffern Waterfall. It was completely dry. This is first obstacle as you must scramble up on climber right. It is fairly easy with good holds, but rock was dry; probably different story when water is flowing. Daffern says in her guidebook that terrain opens up past the waterfall, but it remains fairly closed and rough. Next challenge is second (dry) waterfall; about 80mins from the Forks. Upper bit was a bit slimy and I couldn't get good trip in my boots; feeling uncomfortable downclimbing this bit, I decided to call it a day. I returned the way I came up and quite enjoyed the journey down having lunch by small pools near the Forks. If you go, take water as East branch was completely dry soon after the Forks. Couple of photos:

Click image for larger version

Name:	EForkPools.jpg
Views:	96
Size:	1.20 MB
ID:	218666
Nice, clear pools near Canadian Forks -- last chance to top up the water

Click image for larger version

Name:	EForkWaterfall2.jpg
Views:	108
Size:	1.26 MB
ID:	218682
Daffern waterfall, now dry. Scramble on right side, good holds. Easier than it looks on this photo. Phil thought this was low class 3 and I probably agree.

Click image for larger version

Name:	EForkWaterfall1.jpg
Views:	107
Size:	1.22 MB
ID:	218674
Closer look at that dry waterfall

Click image for larger version

Name:	EForkStepTree.jpg
Views:	166
Size:	1.29 MB
ID:	218690
My turnaround point. It is interesting challenge; at the end of this log is fairly long reach (if you want to keep your feet dry), then near the top rock is quite slippery with no holds.

Phil continued and completed full loop as planned; he told me terrain gets fairly challenging higher up and will surely provide more details.

Update: Full Report of Phil' Loop around Cougar Peek is here

Last edited by zeljkok; 07-25-2017 at 04:08 AM.
zeljkok is online now  
post #25 of (permalink) Old 11-04-2017, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,877
Default

Early Nov '17

Winter has come early this year; considerable snow dump, and freezing temps reaching -20 Celsius overnight. (Side channels of Bow River already have ice ). This means Cougar Creek has don its winter clothes and this is how I find it aesthetically most attractive. Did not go far, maybe 15 minutes past the berm. Creek is still flowing. Broken trail continues up the canyon. This has now become one of favorite places in the Foothills. Couple of pics:

[Past the berm looking towards Cougar Peak]

Click image for larger version

Name:	cougarnov17_1.jpg
Views:	112
Size:	693.4 KB
ID:	240154

[Cold full freeze deep winter sunset, even if it's barely halfway through the fall. Still some colors over the Sisters]
Click image for larger version

Name:	cougarnov17.jpg
Views:	90
Size:	587.8 KB
ID:	240146
zeljkok is online now  
post #26 of (permalink) Old 03-07-2018, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,877
Default

Early March '18

This winter has seen tons of snow and cold temps in Canmore. Was quite curious about the conditions for 1st journey up the canyon of 2018. It is beautiful! Went to Canadian Forks. Well broken trail on compact snow -- probably easiest travel I've ever had. Creek is still flowing, but just 1 or 2 rock hops were necessary, and no ice. Now would be the time for visit -- try to come early afternoon when there is sunshine reflecting on canyon walls. Only thing that spoiled the journey -- freshly discarded beer bottle (liquid still inside) -- really, why is this necessary?? Picked it up and took back with me. Rest -- pristine, untouched wilderness in white clothes. Couple of photos:

Click image for larger version

Name:	cg1.jpg
Views:	88
Size:	602.8 KB
ID:	249177
Classic view near trailhead looking back -- it was a lovely afternoon

Click image for larger version

Name:	cg2.jpg
Views:	80
Size:	709.9 KB
ID:	249169
Conditions in the canyon -- note well broken, compact trail on the left side

Click image for larger version

Name:	cg3.jpg
Views:	89
Size:	640.6 KB
ID:	249161
Famous icefall near Canadian Forks

Click image for larger version

Name:	cg5.jpg
Views:	91
Size:	765.3 KB
ID:	249145
Grotto Cliffs near Canadian Forks

Click image for larger version

Name:	cg4.jpg
Views:	155
Size:	819.1 KB
ID:	249153
Canadian Forks, looking up east Fork -- no sign of recent traffic. Single track continued on main fork, for how long I don't know
lobo likes this.
zeljkok is online now  
post #27 of (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 09:06 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
PhilR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Canmore, AB
Interest: Being outside! Hiking, Scrambling, Trail running
Posts: 312
Default

Nice. I continued up main fork following those tracks about 2 weeks ago. Curious to see where people got to before giving up. Interestingly they turned up a side valley on climbers left, after only a short way, looking on google maps later that valley must be a climbers spot - where isn't in that place?! That would make for a nice add-on to your trip next time you go back. Gives a nice view over Cougar Peak and the unnamed peak that I plan on trying to figure a route on later this spring/summer.
zeljkok likes this.
PhilR is offline  
post #28 of (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,877
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilR View Post
Nice. I continued up main fork following those tracks about 2 weeks ago. Curious to see where people got to before giving up. Interestingly they turned up a side valley on climbers left, after only a short way, looking on google maps later that valley must be a climbers spot - where isn't in that place?! That would make for a nice add-on to your trip next time you go back. Gives a nice view over Cougar Peak and the unnamed peak that I plan on trying to figure a route on later this spring/summer.
Thanks big Phil; you are "Cougar expert"

I will talk to you privately later about Cougar Peak, I know you haven't been up yet. I went 2 years ago but turned back ~200m vertical below summit (snow & lack of energy). Maybe this year after (if) snow melts.
PhilR likes this.
zeljkok is online now  
post #29 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2018, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,877
Default

June '18


Five year anniversary of historic June 2013 floods. Few days of rain and although situation is not even remotely close to mayhem 5 years ago, Cougar is swollen and purpose of all flood damage control construction is becoming obvious. I just walked to the berm; couldn't pass through (without getting seriously wet). Even walking to the berm involved briefly diverging from the flats to the woods. Couple of photos:

Click image for larger version

Name:	cg6.jpg
Views:	73
Size:	765.7 KB
ID:	257777
[Photo from bridge on Benchlands road]

Click image for larger version

Name:	cg8.jpg
Views:	77
Size:	742.7 KB
ID:	257793
[Higher up near Lady Mac trailhead]

Click image for larger version

Name:	cg7.jpg
Views:	112
Size:	863.1 KB
ID:	257785
[The berm, designed to hold all the debris. I could hear the rock rumbling under the murky water]
zeljkok is online now  
post #30 of (permalink) Old 02-19-2020, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,877
Default

Second half of February '20


Outstanding conditions in the canyon! Small but firm layer of snow makes travel very easy (way easier than in summer). Colors and winter wonderland. There are 2 sheets of ice straddling the canyon about halfway to Canadian Forks; first one can be circumvented on the left side, but second you must go across & this is why spikes are necessary. Went to the Forks, then turned right and up a bit east fork before turning back. Not sure why I like Cougar so much, but it is my happy place! Couple of pics:


Click image for larger version

Name:	icesheet.jpg
Views:	49
Size:	716.5 KB
ID:	273360
[Ice sheet. Put spikes here, but took them off later. This bit turned a bit into slush with gurgling water on return]


Click image for larger version

Name:	frozenfalls1.jpg
Views:	49
Size:	713.0 KB
ID:	273362
[That amazing frozen cliff ~5min before the Forks. Always brings smile to my face. Well worth the effort even if you don't go further]


Click image for larger version

Name:	forkstogrotto.jpg
Views:	47
Size:	786.9 KB
ID:	273364
[Grotto mountain cliffs from Canadian Forks]
zeljkok is online now  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1