Pocaterra, Mount


Trip Details
Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Trip Date: 
Wednesday, September 3, 2003
Summit Elevation (m): 
Summit Elevation (ft): 
Elevation Gain (m): 
Total Distance (km): 
Difficulty Notes: 

Moderate scrambling on the ridge between Tyrwhitt and Pocaterra with some difficult, loose and exposed moves depending on route choices.

Trip Report

For the first half of the traverse between Tyrwhitt and Pocaterra we lost a LOT of elevation (about 200m each way). We pretty much went back down to the level of Grizzly Col before re-ascending to Pocaterra.


[The connecting ridge between Tyrwhitt and Pocaterra as seen from the summit of Tyrwhitt. Note the height loss!]


After this the scrambling is a lot more fun and you have a choice to hit scree on the left or go right along the ridge with an airy drop on your right. I chose the ridge and didn't regret it. Closer to the summit of Pocaterra there was another choice. The ridge got super-exposed and while I went up the ridge, Jon and Kev took the scree to the left. It quickly became apparent that I was going a lot faster then they were because they had to negotiate some tricky terrain on an angle while I just had to keep my footing on dry rock.


As I kept scrambling along the ridge the exposure kept increasing. Finally when I thought I was at the summit I realized that I still had a bit to go. It's just after this point that the rating should be 'difficult'. I had to hold onto a rock that looked kind of unstable while I kind of hung out in space and swung down a notch in the ridge. A slip from here would absolutely sting! (i.e. it would kill you) Any scramble that involves this kind of move rates 'difficult' in my books! Fun - but serious. I quickly made it to the summit after this and after taking some photos I went to look for Jon and Kev.



[Kev on an exposed section of ridge.]

[There is some exposure off the ridge.]

[Vern at the summit of Pocaterra]

[Upper (L) and Lower (R) Kananaskis Lakes with Lyautey at left, Putnik and Beatty at center and Indefatigable at far right.]


Unfortunately for Jon and Kev they were not to make the summit from their position. They climbed high up on the ridge but still had to climb over the difficult section and it just wasn't worth the risk for them. The notch where I descended was so steep and loose that it would have been a real bugger to climb - if not downright impossible. We finally made it back to the top of Tyrwhitt after another 2 hours for a round-trip time of 4 hours from Tyrwhitt to Pocaterra and back again.



[Jon and Kev come over to meet me before turning back to Tyrwhitt.]

[The terrain around the summit of Pocaterra on the west side of the mountain.]

[The long traverse back to Tyrwhitt.]

[Kev and Jon on the ridge.]

[Kev and Vern heading back down Tyrwhitt to the Grizzly Col with the window visible.]


So my advice to you is: if you don't like exposure don't even bother with the ridge. I loved it but it was a long outing and the elevation gain / loss thing really gets to you on the way back up to Tyrwhitt!


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