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Two O’Clock Ridge

Summit Elevation (m): 2475
Trip Date: Saturday, June 03 2017
Elevation Gain (m): 2500
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 1/2 – you fall, you might sprain your thumb
Difficulty Notes: Easy scrambling and hiking. NOTE: This was done as part of a 15 hour traverse to Two O’Clock Ridge via Landslide Peak.
Technical Rating: OT5; YDS (Hiking)
Mapwhat3words


There was nothing to do after finally standing on top of Two O’Clock Peak but start our long descent towards Two O’Clock Ridge and the highway, far below and far in the distance still at this point. We were feeling pretty positive as we started down the summit ridge towards the obvious east descent ridge. It looked pretty darn easy and not too far. We should have known better!

The Landslide Loop Traverse Route Map

As soon as we ducked under the summit ridge it became obvious that we weren’t done with large boulders and rocky terrain just yet! My left knee wasn’t too happy as we slowly stumbled and picked our way down to a smoother ridge crest off in the distance. Eventually we found another sheltered spot and I made my second cup of coffee for the day – something to give me enough kick to finish this thing! It was almost 19:00 by the time we stopped – almost 12 hours had gone by already and we had a long way to go yet. There was at least 4 large elevation gains and losses by the time we made our final grunt to the summit of Two O’Clock Ridge at around 20:00.

The shadows are racing ahead of us as the day grows late. Many intervening bumps between us and Two O’Clock Ridge.
An interesting view towards Whirlpool Ridge from the Two O’Clock Ridge. Tuff Puff at left.

We didn’t linger long at the last summit of the day, despite some great evening lighting towards Siffleur and Loudon. I popped an Advil and Mike popped his fourth vitamin I as we continued the long descent to the Two O’Clock Campground along highway 11, far below us. We kept sneaking glanced at Whirlpool Peak to the south of us – there seemed to be some routes that would go to the summit from around Tuff Puff. (Anyone who thinks that Two O’Clock Ridge shouldn’t be a distinct summit should see Tuff Puff… ;))

Mike catches dying light with Ernest Ross above him at left.
Descending Two O’Clock Ridge.

From the summit of Two O’Clock Ridge, we followed a distinct trail down to treeline where the temperature finally got really warm for the first time since early that morning. Jackets came off and our pace quickened as the Advil kicked in and did it’s job. I have to admit that the trail for Two O’Clock Ridge is further and less direct that I assumed it would be. Thankfully Mike had just done the peak 2 weeks previous as some of the junctions on descent weren’t obvious which one was best. In general we had to work our way left and then around some ridges before going back to the right towards the campground near the bottom. We traversed a very interesting outcrop of rock, covered in a myriad of flowers before coming up on Two O’Clock Creek at around 22:00. The creek was going pretty quick and deep but I didn’t even try to keep my feet dry, just charging right through it, which felt fantastic on my tender tootsies! Most of my toes were numb at this point anyway, considering the abuses of the past week or so.

As a storm threatened to roll in from the west, we strode first through some gentle stands of trees and then through a busy and cheerful campground and headed down the highway, back towards our vehicles. One last little bit of excitement came in the form of two black bears in the ditch beside us, that ran off when I told them to. Good bears. Doing what they’re told. 🙂 We were feeling pretty tired when we walked up to the cars exactly 15 hours and 2 minutes after leaving them as darkness settled in at 22:30.

Overall I was pretty happy with this high level traverse. Views were unique to me as I haven’t done a ton of peaks in David Thompson Country (although I’ve already done the highest). It was a bloody long day though. Driving home was extremely tiring – I stopped for several power naps. As a day trip from YYC it was a 24 hour ordeal. I stumbled through my front door at around 03:00 for one of the longest day trips I’ve ever done. Thanks Mike for suggesting it and thanks Eric for doing it first! Crazy Edmontonians…

Two O'Clock Ridge
Descending from Two O'Clock peak to the ridge.
Descending from Two O'Clock peak to the ridge.
We thought we were done with boulder hopping but as we start our descent to Two O'Clock Ridge we clearly are NOT.
We thought we were done with boulder hopping but as we start our descent to Two O'Clock Ridge we clearly are NOT.
Looking up at Mike descending bouldery terrain on Two O'Clock Peak's SE ridge.
Looking up at Mike descending bouldery terrain on Two O'Clock Peak's SE ridge.
You can't move quickly through this stuff but it is scenic.
You can't move quickly through this stuff but it is scenic.
Looking down the SE rige to the summit of Two O'Clock Ridge.
Looking down the SE rige to the summit of Two O'Clock Ridge.
Mike emerges from shadows beneath me. Tuff Puff at center - the small bump of light colored scree.
Mike emerges from shadows beneath me. Tuff Puff at center - the small bump of light colored scree.
Looking over at the impressive form of Whirlpool Ridge.
Looking over at the impressive form of Whirlpool Ridge.
The shadows are racing ahead of us as the day grows late.
The shadows are racing ahead of us as the day grows late.
Looking back up at Two O'Clock Peak from the first saddle with the first bump on return.
Looking back up at Two O'Clock Peak from the first saddle with the first bump on return.
Whirlpool Ridge.
Whirlpool Ridge.
A distant view of Bridge Peak with Elliot rising beyond.
A distant view of Bridge Peak with Elliot rising beyond.
An interesting view towards Whirlpool Ridge from the Two O'Clock Ridge. Tuff Puff at left.
An interesting view towards Whirlpool Ridge from the Two O'Clock Ridge. Tuff Puff at left.
Looking back towards Whirlpool Ridge at left and Two O'Clock Peak at right of center.
Looking back towards Whirlpool Ridge at left and Two O'Clock Peak at right of center.
Mike can't believe how freaking far we've come and how many hours and meter of elevation we've already completed.
Mike can't believe how freaking far we've come and how many hours and meter of elevation we've already completed.
Looking over Tuff Puff up the Siffleur River Valley with Siffleur Mountain at right and peaks such as Cheshire, Heinrich, Erudite and Fuhrer in the distance.
Looking over Tuff Puff up the Siffleur River Valley with Siffleur Mountain at right and peaks such as Cheshire, Heinrich, Erudite and Fuhrer in the distance.
Bridge and Elliot at left with Ernest Ross left of center. Ex Coelis at far right with William Booth at center distance.
Bridge and Elliot at left with Ernest Ross left of center. Ex Coelis at far right with William Booth at center distance.
Mike catches dying light with Ernest Ross above him at left.
Mike catches dying light with Ernest Ross above him at left.
Mike catches dying light with Ernest Ross above him at left.
Mike catches dying light with Ernest Ross above him at left.
Great views towards Siffleur, Peskett and Loudon.
Great views towards Siffleur, Peskett and Loudon.
The Ex Coelis Group.
The Ex Coelis Group.
Mount William Booth in the distance, with Mike once again catching up to the sunlight.
Mount William Booth in the distance, with Mike once again catching up to the sunlight.
Our exit is at bottom center.
Our exit is at bottom center.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
Looking back from the descent towards the summit. Two O'Clock Creek at lower left.
Looking back from the descent towards the summit. Two O'Clock Creek at lower left.
Gorgeous evening lighting on Siffleur Mountain as a storm rolls towards us from the west.
Gorgeous evening lighting on Siffleur Mountain as a storm rolls towards us from the west.
The sun sets on the Ex Coelis Group which includes (L to R), Normandy, Stan Waters, Rhine, Ardennes and Elbe.
The sun sets on the Ex Coelis Group which includes (L to R), Normandy, Stan Waters, Rhine, Ardennes and Elbe.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
The trail has some nice open, meadowy sections.
The trail has some nice open, meadowy sections.
More of the great lower trail.
More of the great lower trail.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
Mike enjoys the great views across hwy 11 and the North Saskatchewan River up the Siffleur River Valley.
Mike enjoys the great views across hwy 11 and the North Saskatchewan River up the Siffleur River Valley.
The sun sets on the Ex Coelis Group which includes (L to R), Normandy, Stan Waters, Rhine, Ardennes and Elbe.
The sun sets on the Ex Coelis Group which includes (L to R), Normandy, Stan Waters, Rhine, Ardennes and Elbe.
Ladies Slipper.
Ladies Slipper.
Great late evening lighting as we finish the left traverse and start heading south on a cool escarpment towards the Two O'Clock Creek Campground.
Great late evening lighting as we finish the left traverse and start heading south on a cool escarpment towards the Two O'Clock Creek Campground.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
Descending Two O'Clock Ridge.
A short section of blowdown on the trail as we exit the escarpment.
A short section of blowdown on the trail as we exit the escarpment.
Mike practices his moves over the blowdown.
Mike practices his moves over the blowdown.
Another of my favorite flowers - the Three-flowered Mount Aven.
Another of my favorite flowers - the Three-flowered Mount Aven.
Another of my favorite flowers - the Three-flowered Mount Aven.
Another of my favorite flowers - the Three-flowered Mount Aven.
Descending to the valley, leading to the campground just visible at far left.
Descending to the valley, leading to the campground just visible at far left.
Two O'Clock Creek was pretty rowdy even at 10pm!
Two O'Clock Creek was pretty rowdy even at 10pm!
Winding our way through light forests with birds chirping and threatening skies to the west.
Winding our way through light forests with birds chirping and threatening skies to the west.
Heading towards the campground in fading light.
Heading towards the campground in fading light.
Looking back up hwy 11 towards Siffleur Mountain and the storm that thankfully bypassed us.
Looking back up hwy 11 towards Siffleur Mountain and the storm that thankfully bypassed us.

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