AB Sou = Alberta Rockies South (Waterton & Crow's Nest) Lakeview Ridge and Dunwey Peak - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Default Lakeview Ridge and Dunwey Peak

May 26, 2017

Cornelius and I passed thoughts back and forth about a possible trip for Friday. It eventually narrowed down to 2 possible trips in Castle or Waterton. The webcams for Castle ski resort and Waterton town showed snow cover was thin on west and south facing slopes, and not really too much on east slopes either. There were plenty of options there, but it came down to Dunwey Peak, (aka “Rogen Pk” an easy Nugara scramble) or Windsor Mt (likely easy to moderate) in rating.

In the end we fixed on Dunwey Peak, not being sure on the conditions for the West Castle Road, and favouring what would be a nice and easy hike and scramble. We were keen to get a feeling of summer, and really getting this summer season underway with a Waterton hike is a great thing! We parked at the end of the Bison Paddock track as described in the More Scrambles book. There was quite the frog's chorus from the lovely little pond at the end of the track, and as we were readying ourselves, it was great to listen to the lively chorus.

We followed the nice Horseshoe Basin Trail through lush aspen forest that at times presented lovely views down over the plains behind us, and across towards Waterton Lakes, as the trail rose over a small hill on approach. It was nice to be hiking amongst such green vegetation and we stopped numerous times to just breath and enjoy the windless, blue sky day.

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Looking at Lakeview Ridge (right of centre trending to far right) and Dunwey Peak (left of centre)

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The nice ridge bookmarked by Galway (left) and Dunwey (right) above the Horseshoe Basin Trail.

As the trail travelled along beside the south end of Lakeview Ridge I spotted a mother bear and 2 cubs about halfway up the slope that we were considering to use for our ascent. We watched for a few minutes, and saw that mother was generally leading the cubs on a traverse of the slopes to the east, so we adjusted our thoughts on an ascent line, and decided to continue further along the trail and ascend to the west of the bears.

The trail descended a short way to a creek crossing. The creek was flowing well enough that we couldn't find a simple way to rock-hop, and took the time to take our boots off for the short crossing before continuing along the trail that cut along to the west before turning into the valley between Lakeview Ridge and Dunwey Peak. After the trail emerged from a lovely piece of aspen woodland filled with glacier lillies, we left it and crossed a small tributary creek before starting to ascend the scree and dirt slope of Lakeview Ridge... Only to find that the bears had switched direction and navigated around to the slopes above us. After a brief wait, they moved off further up-valley and we ascended, making sure to give them plenty of room. It was a bit of a grunt up to the ridge top, and we were a little surprised to see that it had taken us 2 hours to get to this point. I guess the photography was slowing us down a lot! Our ascent line followed an obvious rock line that provides a small profile ridge pretty much all the way up to the ridge top, it offered some rock to hike on to break up the effort of the fairly steep dirt and scree ascent, and the beds of spherical fossils meant Cornelius could give me a bit of a geological lesson - I have since forgotten the fossil names! I am a bad student.

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Crossing the creek on a lovely warm Friday morning.

Lakeview Ridge undulates over an intermediate top to the high point, and it was generally a very pleasant walk with lovely views in all directions. At the summit of Lakeview Ridge we stopped for a bite to eat, and to soak up the views of our target peak, as well as Galwey Pk, Belleview Hill and over the plains to the Vimy Pk / Sofa Mt area.

Descending Lakeview Ridge was not the fast hike we thought it might be from appearances. Little rock steps required a little bit of hands on rock and gentle navigate, but soon enough we met back up with the Horseshoe Basin Trail briefly at the col. The trail only stayed on the ridge for a short way before descending over the col to the forested plain to the north. Our path kept us on the ridge leading up towards Dunwey Peak.

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Looking at Galwey, Dunwey and Dungarvon from Lakeview Ridge summit, the glissade slope we used for descent is centre-right.

The ascent of Dunwey Peak was straightforward. I don't remember needing to take my hands off my poles except for some easy moves at the very summit. We ascended over the intervening bumps along the rising ridge rather than side-hilling to bypass the short elevation gain and loss and this worked nicely, and allowed us to enjoy the views all around. Views of Dungarvon were neat, and the sound of waterfalls coming down off its cliffs stirred the air to life. The ascent was a steady plod up the shoulder of the peak, navigating away from the edge to bypass a few short cliffs, and we were up on top of the peak quickly enough.

The cliff that dominates the south face of the peak added some nice drama from our position. The ridge that linked the peak to Galwey and Dungarvon looked nice, but would have made for a much longer day than we planned. Indeed, we talked about the option to Dungarvon, but decided that the ascent of it from the Redrock Parkway was described as a great scramble, so why add it on today, and miss out on that fun scramble another time.

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The ascent shoulder of Dunwey Pk is straight-forward.

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View along the summit ridge that extends to the west with me on the highpoint (photo by Cornelius).

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Looking back to Cornelius from the west end of the summit ridge.

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Pano of the ridge extending to Galwey.

We had spied a long snow patch that descended from about two thirds of the elevation of Dunwey into our exit valley and for a good length of the ascent we were excited to see if it would glissade. After quickly descending from the summit to the top of the line we were happy to find that it was not icy and perhaps a little mushy, but certainly not an issue. The glissade was great, if anything a little slow due to the surface slush, and we were down in the creek valley within the blink of an eye. This snow line would probably disappear pretty quickly, and may present cliffs that were not evident when we descended.

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Cornelius makes the glissade.

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My turn to lead the glissade down into the gully (photo by Cornelius).

After such a quick descent we were happy to have the momentum and be on the move down the exit trail. The start of the valley before meeting the trail was quite strange, it was filled with something that had the appearance of current stems - brittle and just starting to come into leaf, I haven't seen anything like that in the wild before.

The exit trail crossed a small creek a few times, and provided a fast exit with pretty good views all the way back to meet up with the part where we had left it earlier to ascend Lakeview Ridge. We never did see those bears again, which is a good thing, and we were sure to make plenty of noise to let them know where we were. Continuing on back to the TH was excellent in late afternoon sunlight across the face of Galwey and Dunwey and later the expansive entrance to Waterton Valley made that last trudge pass quickly enough especially when feeling the post-summit glow.

8 hours, 22km, 1500m.
Tick count = 2

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Beautiful flowers in the aspen forest.

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Glacier lillies in the aspen grove.

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Exiting aspen forest to a lovely view over towards Waterton Lakes.

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Our route - anticlockwise
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Last edited by PhilR; 05-31-2017 at 09:03 PM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 10:03 PM
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Gotta love Waterton.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 10:33 PM
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ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL PHIL; Great report and superb photos doing well to show a beautiful area. Looks like a great open ridge walk to complement the day.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 11:54 PM
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Wow, nice trip and hardly any snow
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 03:50 PM
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Nice pics! Re: the name of the mountain (nugara calls it Rogan or Dunway i.e. 'dun' from dungarvan and the 'way' from Galway ).

On the road going north from Waterton towards Twin Butte there is a pullout with a panoramic photo with tags for the peaks off in the distance; on that diagram, the mountain is shown as 'The Horn'. Although I have never seen it identified on any published maps as such.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 03:54 PM
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Nice TR Phil.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 04:02 PM
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Nice TR Phil.
Indeed, very nice report. Much less snow @ Waterton than I imagined.

How about bit of King Edward report Vern?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilR View Post
It was nice to be hiking amongst such green vegetation and we stopped numerous times to just breath and enjoy the windless, blue sky day.
How did you manage to get a windless day in Waterton. That is truly a rare treasure!

Your pics are awesome, Horseshoe basin is one of my favorite early season hikes but I'd never thought about hiking the peak. Thanks for sharing!

Not the fastest, but I get to where I am going and enjoy it.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by trevbo View Post
Nice pics! Re: the name of the mountain (nugara calls it Rogan or Dunway i.e. 'dun' from dungarvan and the 'way' from Galway ).

On the road going north from Waterton towards Twin Butte there is a pullout with a panoramic photo with tags for the peaks off in the distance; on that diagram, the mountain is shown as 'The Horn'. Although I have never seen it identified on any published maps as such.
Well The Horn would be a much better name IMHO! Not keen on Rogan or Dunwey, but that is what they are called in the book, so that is what people will search for on the internet.

We actually stopped at that pull-out to get a look at snow coverage for our day ahead. It is a great view from there. However, in my silliness I have never actually thought to take a look at the viewpoint sign. Next time I will!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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How did you manage to get a windless day in Waterton. That is truly a rare treasure!

Your pics are awesome, Horseshoe basin is one of my favorite early season hikes but I'd never thought about hiking the peak. Thanks for sharing!
Yep, A WINDLESS DAY IN WATERTON. Such a wondrous thing - SPOTWX gives an idea of when to expect windless days, but of course all things can be different when actually there.
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Yer Killin' me! man, what sweet terrain and so little snow. Every fave route down here on the coast is thick with wet, sloppy snow

Was that mama bear (and cubs) a Grizzly or Black Bear?

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Yer Killin' me! man, what sweet terrain and so little snow. Every fave route down here on the coast is thick with wet, sloppy snow

Was that mama bear (and cubs) a Grizzly or Black Bear?
Yep, we've had a good spell of hot weather now, so things are getting into shape fast - just have to contend with swollen rivers, ticks, bears... and wonderful views.

Bears were black in colour, but weren't close enough to know if they were actually black bears or black coloured grizzly.

If this was killing you, wait an hour, there is an other report going up soon, which was also really neat, and dry rock.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 08:48 PM
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Yep, we've had a good spell of hot weather now, so things are getting into shape fast - just have to contend with swollen rivers, ticks, bears... and wonderful views.

Bears were black in colour, but weren't close enough to know if they were actually black bears or black coloured grizzly.

If this was killing you, wait an hour, there is an other report going up soon, which was also really neat, and dry rock.
Bring it on

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post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 09:42 PM
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Yep, A WINDLESS DAY IN WATERTON. Such a wondrous thing - SPOTWX gives an idea of when to expect windless days, but of course all things can be different when actually there.
Ha, if anything could truly predict windless days in that part of the province I would have to accuse it of witchcraft!

Waterton is where I fell in love with the mountains but I haven't been back in 6 years, I think its about time.

Not the fastest, but I get to where I am going and enjoy it.
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