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Thread: KC = Kananaskis Country Confines of Cougar Creek
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
Summit Master
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Join Date: May 2009
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Posts: 4,725

mid-April trip

This time I continued for ~50 mins on left fork past Canadian forks. This brings you to steep drainage coming down "Cougar peak" (unofficial name). This is still infrequently done ascent -- for more details check out Spirko and Cornelius reports. Bottom part of this drainage is brutally steep; I found easier to ascent on climber left side through the woods; only minor bushwhack. It eases up, but then at treeline picks up again. Picture of lower part of the gully:

Above treeline it is just horrible scree bash. I hoped I'd be able to ascend in snow, but immediately started postholing up to my knees and was forced to exit back to scree. Picture of mid-part of the drainage:

Luckily there was a trickle coming down some slabs & I was able to refill water. Higher up some slabs help in upward propulsion, but it is still tedious going as there is lots of rubble. Eventually drainage splits; ignore first right fork and keep ascending, then when it splits again take wider right branch - as in this picture (much, much steeper than pic might suggest). Faded tracks in the snow indicate 1-2 weeks old ascent:

This is where I bailed out, maybe 300 vertical below summit. I just didn't like that snow I'd eventually have to ascend part of the gully -- although it is probably possible to avoid on the slabs on left side. Real reason is probably low energy - just didn't have it in me on this day.

I will say though that "Cougar Peak" is mother of all slogs. I can't actually remember worse. 2 hours (1-way) of Cougar canyon which now, that snow is gone, is very tedious going, followed by very steep scree bash. Technically I'd probably put it in moderate area. I don't know if it is going to make in new edition of Kane scrambles, but if it doesn't -- it is no big loss really.

Finally, I have a question:

This pic is looking across west to other side. I was studying upper Cougar drainage and direction of red arrow. I think this is what Daffern calls "Carrot - Cougar col, trip 70C in orange book. Has anyone gone this way, and how long does it take? I'd very much like to get up that very inviting ridge to the right of Charles Stewart. Also, buttress on right side -- marked with "?" -- is this just an outlier of Mt. Townsend?
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