The usual route up this peak is the south ridge, which involves a nasty bushwack along
the creek. The route taken on this trip eliminates the bushwack at the beginning of the
climb and adds more scrambling on class 3 to 4 terrain. An open hillside on the NE side
of the trail, approximately 15 minutes, marks the spot where you ascend the ridge of the
unnamed peak (8500) which lies between Cloudy Ridge and Glendowan. Unfortunately,
this landmark was discovered at the end of the day.
There are 4 cliff bands on the ascent, all providing plenty of great scrambling on fair to
good rock. Rain threatened our entire trip and clouds obscured views to the east. We as-
cended the south ridge of peak 8500 to the level of the col then traversed to the east
ridge of Glendowan. From the col there is a band of diorite that provides steep class 3-4
scrambling on solid rock and a knife edged ridge crest that provides great exposure.
Once through the diorite the summit block appears very intimidating, however, class 3 to
4 gullies on the SW side provide more fun. Once through this brown shale cliff band it is a
walk to the summit cairn. A deceptively steep gully leads off the west side of the summit
near the cairn, which requires careful down climbing in spots. Once off the summit block
we tried to find the south ridge but wound up losing elevation on the NW side of the
summit, which required a traverse back to the descent gully. Trend left at the bottom of
the descent gully to find the south ridge of Glendowan then pick your way down trending
left of the ridge crest. Thanks to Ken's experience on the south ridge we descended to
tree line where Ken promised a 15 minute bushwack, he was correct, and soon we were
following the creek back to the Snowshoe Trail. The rain started when we reached the trail
and poured till we were back at the parking lot.
We had a great day in the hills with lots of steep class 3 & 4 scrambling. Thanks to Ken
for his expertise on the south ridge descent and Alan Kennard for joining us on this
adventure in Waterton.
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