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Tag : OT3

Oliver, Mount

Obviously dry conditions and knowing there’s a trail and roughly where to find it is key to keeping Mount Oliver to a reasonable day trip. I really enjoyed this front range scramble (apparently the highest front range peak in Banff) and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get off the beaten path and onto a much more rudimentary one. The highlights of the trip for me weren’t even the mountain but rather the upper stretches of North Burnt Timber Creek, the sidewalk east ridge and the remote and very quiet nature of the area.

Sparwood Ridge (Natal Lookout)

I had a nice day traveling in a “new” area with some unique views but there is enough route finding, bushwhacking and stumbling around on this ridge to justify perhaps waiting for the easier west access roads to dry off before tackling it.

Old Baldy | Marble | Corkscrew Mountain

Reflecting on the day, we enjoyed some great spring hiking and managed almost 2k vertical and ~27km of hiking – not bad for some front range bumps and hills! This sort of trip isn’t something we like to do all the time but it’s the perfect kind of spring day that gets done a couple of times each year as the ski season slowly transitions to the hiking / scrambling / climbing one.

Limestone Mountain (Lookout)

Limestone Mountain is definitely worth doing but likely not as a sole objective if you’re driving the 2.5-3 hours from Calgary to the trailhead. We were happy to do it as the primary summit – one that actually has great views.

Crowfoot, Little

It felt good to be out near the Wapta again with the wild scenery it always gives us.

Wolverine Ridge (+ Purple Mound)

Wolverine Ridge is a nice ski objective when the weather isn’t perfect or when you aren’t sure about snow conditions. There are enough sheltered and reasonably angled runs to be safe in all but the worst conditions and steeper options when conditions allow for it.

Old Dutch Man Peak

Obviously a small “peak” like Old Dutch Man is never going to make any top 10 lists, but it certainly doesn’t make a bottom 10 either. 😉 As far as front and mid-range hikes goes, it’s a worthwhile late day or 1/2 day objective.

Fly Hill

Fly Hill is a classic “Spirko hike”. A front range bump with some great views, tiring mid-route height losses and gains and a questionable claim as a “summit” of any official status.

Well Site & Hat Mountain

Why would anyone ever bother with those two “peaks”?! Driving 5-6 hours round trip from YYC just to hike up a bump with no clear summit and likely very muted views? Meh.

Junction Lookout | “Hill 651038” | Green Mountain | Hoffman Hill

Neither Wietse or I were really in the mood for front range hiking but we decided it would be good exercise and a good test of my ankle.

Allstones Ridge (Lake)

I liked this short hike. It’s a great family option too. Be aware of some hard-pack dirt to the summit that folks in runner might not enjoy if they’re not used to slippery trails that are this well used. Just don’t expect solitude unless you’re up and at it early in the day.

Swany’s | Îyarhe Îpan | Quirk Ridge

I highly recommend this quick and scenic trip for an after work or half day outing. It took me less than 4.5 hours to do all 3 peaks and includes a fast and fun bike ride at the end of it all.

Long Prairie | Pine | Macabee Ridge

I recommend this loop for a lazy weekend afternoon when you realize that you want to get off your couch but you also realize you don’t want to get too much exercise.

Carbondale Hill (Lookout)

Would I recommend my route on Carbondale Hill? Yes and no. If you want to try a north approach I recommend trying the cutline route. Start where I did and follow the track I did a bit further to see if there’s a trail up the cutline. If there is, this could be a wonderful option.

Cherry Hill

Cherry Hill is not destined to be one of the greats. But it’s a thing with a high point – possibly even an official “summit” that’s not the one you hike to. And you can never have too many of those on your bucket list. Can you?

Ginger & Maverick Hill

IMHO there is much value in a peaceful front range solo rambles where the mind is free to wander along with the butterflies, the bees and the sharp scents of spring as they carry along on crisp front range breezes. I think that in a world that only seems to admire extremes, there is a deep satisfaction in realizing that “simple” is fast becoming the new “extreme” – if only because it seems so hard for many of us to do.

Carry | John Ware | Muley | Forked Ridge

Honestly this set of 4 “summits” was a nice day out (better than sitting on the couch) but it certainly wasn’t a highlight of the year or anything. There were a bunch of wildflowers on Carry’s south ridge if you’re into that but otherwise don’t expect too much from this hike other than fresh air and exercise – never a bad thing.

Piitaistakis | The Dog | Livingstone South | Morin Peak

I highly recommend this four peak day for early season scramblers. The trick is finding the right balance between snow and dry. If it’s really dry you might wish you did a bigger objective but if it’s too snowy you might not navigate a safe route between Livingstone and Morin Peak.

Hearts | Spades | Clubs | Diamonds | Poker

Wietse and I agreed that despite initial misgivings on these small “nothing” objectives, they did sport some pretty sweet views and the combination of bear tracks and wild weather made them worthwhile. Just barely. The cards peaks are a good option for families looking to try some off trail hiking with some pretty sweet views.

Bluff Mountain & Greenhill Ridge

I would rate Bluff Mountain as an excellent and easy scramble via the SE ridge and I would highly recommend going back over Greenhill Ridge. We didn’t run into any “No Trespassing” signs or private land issues and the pictographs are a pretty unique Rockies experience.

Loop Ridge

I can’t say Loop is a premier hike, but it doesn’t fall into a bottom category either. It’s worth a spring trip when other peaks are still out of condition and you’re looking for mountain views, some exercise and fresh air.

Sibbald Five, The

An easy ramble along a number of front range foothills with some surprising views and a lot of unsurprising non-views.

Little Copper (Gibbon Pass Peak)

Since my last ill-fated trip with Dr. Phil in an ill-advised November 2018 attempt of Stenton Peak with an immediate subsequent follow up failure on an unnamed pile of choss nearby, my mountain mojo has been sitting somewhere between a 0 and a 1 with 10 being the amount of mojo required for peaks like McConnell or Cataract and 8+ being the amount required to get me out of bed at 04:00 on a weekend morning.

Nameless (Eagle) Ridge

Summit Elevation (m): 2485Trip Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018Elevation Gain (m): 650Round Trip Time (hr): 4Total Trip Distance (km): 6.5Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 1 – you fall, you’re stupidDifficulty Notes: No difficulties. Your aunt Edna could do this one blindfolded – assuming you were yelling good directions at her. Some avy hazards with copious amounts of snow in the “right” conditions but none otherwise..Technical Rating: OT3; YDS (Hiking)Map: what3words Despite being in the midst of the worst stretch of Fall weather I have ever […]

Moody skies over Barrier Lake.

Lusk Ridge (Hunchback Hills)

Summit Elevation (m): 2066Trip Date: Friday, May 4, 2018Elevation Gain (m): 1050Round Trip Time (hr): 8.5Total Trip Distance (km): 22.5Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 1 – you fall, you’re stupidDifficulty Notes: No difficulties other than some routefinding and choosing the right conditions (early or late season).Technical Rating: OT3; YDS (Hiking)Map: what3words There isn’t a ton to say about this hike to be honest with you. Phil and I were planning a much “sexier” peak for Friday, May the 4th (be with you), but due to […]