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post #16 of (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Thanks Zeljko! I'm very surprised Andrew turned back on his attempt. He mentions he took a wrong trail (the correct one starts right from Bluerock equestrian campground's parking lot). Postholing through the deep residual snow in the trees apparently sapped his energy and motivation. The trail is very broad for the first 3km and is fairly well sun exposed. It might hold deep pockets of snow in the early season where it drops 70m to cross Bluerock Creek (northeast facing slope). The rest is south facing and shouldn't pose too much problems except perhaps right after a freak snowstorm. I would worry about the crux gully though. It's a terrain trap that can hold enough of snow in mid-May to pose avalanche danger.

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quote:Originally posted by zeljkok

That is a great TR and very nice photos, with bonus links to various other reports (of well known local celebrities . Interesting to note Nugara turned back on his mid-May attempt because of too much postholing.
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post #17 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 02:53 PM
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I just soloed Bluerock this past weekend. Trail is bone dry. Honestly, I wish I brought my mountain bike. I think that for competent bikers, most of the long approach to Ram Mountain can be biked and would be a blast on descent! Even just biking the first few km's would make this a rather moderate day out - probably around 7 hours assuming you are in good biking shape. I did it in less than 8 hours in good conditions and including all breaks. A fantastic day out with perfect weather, no bugs (no wood ticks), no bears and lots and lots of wild flowers!

The crux gully is definitely moderate scrambling when dry. Snow would make it easier. There is a 4-5 foot flaring crack that might be problematic for short folks. Some photos:


[After working my way up several hundred vertical meters on the south ridge of Bluerock, I was greeted by wonderful morning views like this]


[Lovely alpine flowers are out in full bloom everywhere on this approach hike]


[Excellent views off the climb of Ram Mountain - including Mount Ware at center left]


[The break through the cliffs is bone-dry!]


[This is the crux. When there's snow covering it, it's fairly benign, but otherwise it's an awkward flaring crack of about 4-5 feet tall that will resist short people]


[Looking down the gully gives an idea of the terrain involved here. Loose rocks above it make this a small party objective and before descending, make sure there is nobody coming up!]


[The sublime view from within the "sheep hotel" looking back along the south ridge of Bluerock Mountain]


[Looking west and south off the summit. Views include Rose / Threepoint on the far R and Shunga-la-she and Burns on the L]


[The view from the bottom of the gully, looking south down Bluerock Ridge / Creek]


[The bees were very busy in the meadows around the bench, tons of Shooting Stars here]

Vern Dewit
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post #18 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 10:45 PM
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Bluerock Mountain is such a big and prominent peak. Good to see it sees more traffic. I`m surprised that Alan Kane did not include it in his original book. In fact, none of the Sheep River Valley peaks are in his book. It`s shocking because he covered every single area of Kananaskis with the exception of this one. I wonder why...
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post #19 of (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by MtnNinja View Post
It`s shocking because he covered every single area of Kananaskis with the exception of this one. I wonder why...
Probably because he did not research enough at a time & did not want to include whole new area for 2 or 3 peaks only. Besides, if he included everything what would be left for Nugara

Vern, re that 5 feet crack that would be awkward for shorter folks: (climber) right side looks fairly good on your pic, ledges etc. Is this the best option?
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post #20 of (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
Vern, re that 5 feet crack that would be awkward for shorter folks: (climber) right side looks fairly good on your pic, ledges etc. Is this the best option?
The pics make it look easier than it is. That terrain is more exposed and higher than the crux, so a slip would be worse IMHO, but it's possible that there are more ways up the crux than mine. I kind of just scrambled straight up because it wasn't that hard. I just want folks who aren't used to scrambling to realize that this is definitely more than a hike. Helmets are also a must for this section if you're not solo.
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Vern Dewit
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post #21 of (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 10:02 AM
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Zeljkok:

I remember Bob Spirko went down and around on scree, left side to bypass that crux. So you can try the crux first and if you don't like it there's still a route to the summit.
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