walkhighlands

This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge


Postby ChrisW » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:52 am

Date walked: 30/11/2012

Time taken: 5

Distance: 14.9 km

Ascent: 653m

6 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

It's been a hectic few weeks for us and a combination of bad weather, bad luck and travelling has kept me away from the mountains for almost a month. So, even with threats of -12 degrees and additional wind chill, I decided to head out to the hills again. My choice was partially determined by upcoming road closures. From December 1st each year a few of the mountain roads are closed to allow wildlife to over-winter undisturbed, (they re-open in May). I decided to head to one of the 'soon to be closed locations' as others would still be available after December 1st.


I opted to take highway 66 (Elbow Valley Trail) right through to its end at the little elbow camp ground where a bridge across the river would lead me to Forgetmenot Ridge. My selection of Forgetmenot Ridge was also helped by the option to go further if time allowed, but as I approached my usual parking area here, I saw that particular section of the road closed already. I was not too disappointed as another parking area remained open and was available, it did mean walking an extra couple of km along the river to the bridge but I really didn't mind, I was just glad to be back in the mountains.

Any thoughts of wading the river were quickly dispensed with when I stood on the bank looking at the icy edges and feeling the full affect of the -12 and wind chill, the sun had not yet reached above the mountains and I really didn't fancy it, though I did think it might make a quick return to the truck possible on the way back. I set off on the crisp dry snow along the river heading in the opposite direction to my target hill, but not bothered by the additional km's as this was a fairly short walk anyway.

Image

In no time at all I was approaching the Harold Chapman suspension bridge that would save me a cool paddle today. The sun was still below the mountains and a good breeze blew down the valley biting at any exposed skin.
Image

looking downstream from the bridge back toward the car park I can see the steep side of Forgetmenot Ridge rising from the riverside, I knew this was the ascent slope and I have to say it made me blow my cheeks out just looking at it. Peeking out just above the initial slope is the bare northern summit of the ridge.
Image

Upstream the morning sun was just illuminating the tops of Mt Glasgow and Mt Cornwall along with Banded Peak and Outlaw Peak the guardians of the Big Elbow Trail.
Image

once across the bridge I decided to follow the river rather than head into the forest on the official trail. I turned downstream immediately, crunching along the light covering of snow. Looking back from the cool shadows as I crossed the river valley the sun was now hitting Nihahi Ridge (right side of photo) as well as the previously mentioned leviathans. There was no sign of any warmth in the air yet but I was really enjoying the tranquil setting and looking forward to the summit to come.
Image

soon light was reaching into the valley and as I crossed a wide dry section of river coming in from the right hand side I realised I needed to get back on the trail if I was to find the turning for the ascent.
Image

I took a hard line directly toward the lower slope of the hill hoping to hit the official trail, sure enough I picked up the well trodden route and soon after that I came across the large cairn that marks the right turn toward Forgetmenot ridge.
Image

Once out of the main lower forest the ascent is brutal, a real 'Kananaskis climb'. Even with many zig zags up the icy scree slope this is a real energy sapper, but stopping to rest should be encouraged as the views are spectacular.
Image

I soon reach a steep drop off where I can now see over the ridge back along highway 66 and beside it the twisting route of the elbow river heading out toward the prairies.
Image

Ascending the steep ridge is still a good grunt but the views are stunning, the long razor edge of Nihahi ridge is a constant reminder of the fantastic day I had hiking to its south summit back in June. At the lower right of this shot is the Powderface Trail cutting its way through the forests and along the valley to join highway 68 just 35km north, Powderface is also closed from December 1st.
Image

after a really gruelling ascent I reach the top of the first little ridge and can get a breath, ahead is the bare northern summit I'm heading for but first I need to walk along this lower ridge. It's nice to have a short level section which I dawdle along taking in the views as I go.
Image

looking back over the route travelled so far, I am again struck by the absolute beauty of the Rockies, the sun has finally found me and I'm soaking it up like a lizard on a rock.
Image

If any of the hills out here resemble munros, this is it, as I see the route ahead I am reminded of so many of my favourite Cainrgorm mountains.
Image

I get along the ridge in no time at all, the level ground leaving me feeling like I'm resting even as I walk. I'm soon looking back at the snow covered ridge genuinely surprised at how quickly I got across it.
Image

from here the route ahead is more munro like than ever, sparsely covered in low heathers and grasses with rocks beneath and even having a similar angle of ascent as many of the 'gorms' ....I feel very much at home as I make the final push to the summit ridge.
Image

up on the ridge top I can see the cloud covering the prairies away in the distance and the almost flat ridge running for miles.
Image

there's just one last little bit of ascent along this beautiful location to reach the summit. Bathed in sunshine with blue skies all the way and the crisp crunch of frozen snow underfoot, with stunning scenery all around...its not a bad walk.
Image

at the summit, the shelter looks to have taken a beating, the cloud is still hanging over the prairies but the views are still wonderful, Moose mountain on the left overlooks the highway and the river valley as the foothills reduce in size from left to right, eventually melting into the prairies.
Image

to my left is a short descent to a much more impressive cairn marking the northern summit viewpoint, as I head that way I soak up the incredible view of endless mountains.
Image

The cairn is even more impressive up close and the viewpoint proves to be well worth the visit. From here the whole of the Elbow valley is visible. Moose mountain on the right, then highway 66, Powderface Ridge just right of the cairn, the the powderface trail road before Nihahi Ridge and the giants beyond. This will be the lunch spot today.
Image

it is still cold but what would I expect in the mountains of Canada in winter, I'm surprised that the evidence shot isn't dazzled by my huge smile. To have such places to yourself is incredible, I sat down and enjoyed a very long lunch.
Image

From here it is possible to see the whole route including that hideously steep initial ascent up the snow covered ridge that reaches from left to right in the shot below, though being here certainly makes it worth it.
Image

zooming in toward the prairies shows the extent of the cloud they are having over there. Sarah confirmed that they hadn't seen the sky all day from the city, glad I wasn't having that problem.
Image

My lunch location, to the left of shot is the cloud covered prairies then my munro tops and to the right those pointed monsters that dreams are made of.
Image

I finally get moving again after about 45 minutes with just one more look across that stunning river valley and along the majastic Nihahi ridge
Image

Rather than return the way I came I decided to explore a little further along the ridge and see what it has to offer. It really does resemble the 'gorms' from here. I consider making the hike to the next round top, I can see a good size cairn on it from here but the map tells me it's 3km and I don't think I have the light left for an additional 6km round trip. If I'm still here in summer next year I'll return to this place for a longer look around.
Image

I turn back and begin a circular route toward the small snow covered ridge, knowing the fun that it will be on the descent, a last look over the tops leaves me smiling as I finally begin to descend.
Image

the descent to the little ridge was a comfortable jaunt with spectacular views to keep me entertained, the sun was already dipping toward the mountain tops and the shadows elongating as I hiked back to the steep descent. It was painfully slow on the steep section, something like bambi on ice with 2 good falls along the way (though nothing hurt)
Image

I hit the dry river as the sun dipped below the tops, my feet were aching and the wobbly cobbles below the snow were a real pain to walk on during the return leg.
Image

after a short time I turned to the official trail and made the slightly longer route out as this got me off the cobbles. I didn't wade back across the river as the hike was short enough and as I crossed the bridge and hiked the final leg I enjoyed the beautiful evening light.
Image

I really enjoyed being back in the mountains again and think it unlikely that anyone would ever forget, 'Forgetmenot Ridge'
Image
User avatar
ChrisW
Rambler
 
Posts: 4940
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Postby Stretch » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:15 am

Welcome back pal, I can now get back to my regular drooling over all these Canada peaks. :clap:

I take it proper winter has set in, or does it get a lot worse? Oh, we are set for a high of 70f here for Monday :wink:
User avatar
Stretch
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1714
Munros:146   Corbetts:8
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Jun 15, 2009
Location: Morristown, Tennessee

Re: Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Postby ChrisW » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:11 am

Stretch wrote:Welcome back pal, I can now get back to my regular drooling over all these Canada peaks. :clap:

I take it proper winter has set in, or does it get a lot worse? Oh, we are set for a high of 70f here for Monday :wink:

Cheers Stretch, it's good to be out in the hills again :D

Winter is indeed set in mate, Kananaskis will get whiter and whiter for 3 months now, there is over a metre of snow further in already but these little 7500's benefit from the Chinook winds off the prairie so they stay pretty clear until January. :wink: I'm heading south for xmas (Florida) so we can thaw for a couple of weeks :lol:
User avatar
ChrisW
Rambler
 
Posts: 4940
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:27 am

Nice to have a Canada fix again Chris :thumbup: It was a positively balmy -1C at Seaham this morning and I thought that was bloody freezing :lol:
User avatar
johnkaysleftleg
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 3255
Munros:25   Corbetts:11
Grahams:11   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:166
Wainwrights:214   Islands:8
Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Location: County Durham

Re: Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Postby trekker53 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:50 am

Great report Chris,
Its good to take advantage of a decent days weather and stretch those legs again.
Are there good hikes in Florida ? I can't see you lazing around.
User avatar
trekker53
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 301
Munros:201   Corbetts:82
Grahams:37   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:41   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:7   
Joined: Apr 8, 2012
Location: Wick

Re: Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Postby Lenore » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:02 am

There's no mountains in florida! How will you be able to keep up the flow of reports that keep us entertained?? Maybe a marshy low level one for christmas and then hurry back to these snowy peaks?
User avatar
Lenore
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 586
Munros:13   Corbetts:4
Grahams:1   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Apr 22, 2012
Location: the Netherlands

Re: Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Postby garyhortop » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:36 am

Great report Chris as usual.....frankly if i had mountains and views like that to myself I would grinning like an idiot all he time!! I loved the evening shots they were just stunning and as well as the contrast between the cloud ridden prairies (it wasn't Dartmoor was it!?) and the sun soaked mountains! Another cracker! :clap: :D
garyhortop
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 313
Munros:3   Corbetts:1
Grahams:2   
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:34
Wainwrights:14   
Joined: Sep 18, 2011

Re: Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Postby SusieThePensioner » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:46 pm

A wonderful walk, Chris, and some fabulous views as usual :thumbup: I was beginning to think I must have somehow missed one of your reports :lol:
User avatar
SusieThePensioner
 
Posts: 1543
Munros:6   Corbetts:3
Grahams:4   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:107
Wainwrights:156   
Joined: Sep 7, 2011
Location: County Durham

Re: Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Postby ChrisW » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:28 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Nice to have a Canada fix again Chris :thumbup: It was a positively balmy -1C at Seaham this morning and I thought that was bloody freezing :lol:

Cheers JK, the cold here is actually much more bearable than home as there is no humidity at all, though it does bite like hell when the wind blows :shock:
trekker53 wrote:Great report Chris,
Its good to take advantage of a decent days weather and stretch those legs again.
Are there good hikes in Florida ? I can't see you lazing around.

Thanks T53, we've got a beach house for two weeks so I think morning jogging sessions and swimming/surfing will be all the exercise I get :roll: ... :lol:
Lenore wrote:There's no mountains in florida! How will you be able to keep up the flow of reports that keep us entertained?? Maybe a marshy low level one for christmas and then hurry back to these snowy peaks?

Thanks Lenore, I'm not sure I'll even get off the beach this time, Florida is a regular haunt for us so we've done the usual Miami / Orlando / Tampa / Everglades holidays, this time its just a lovely beach house on the east coast a few miles south of Daytona with the beach right off the back porch.....ooh I can feel that sunny warm weather already :lol:
garyhortop wrote:Great report Chris as usual.....frankly if i had mountains and views like that to myself I would grinning like an idiot all he time!! I loved the evening shots they were just stunning and as well as the contrast between the cloud ridden prairies (it wasn't Dartmoor was it!?) and the sun soaked mountains! Another cracker! :clap: :D

Cheers Gary, I have a permanently affixed grin when hiking around here. That cloud was interesting because we've been here almost a year and I've never see a cloud bank like that here, not one that just hangs there for so long. Sarah couldn't believe it when I told her I'd had blue skies and sunshine all day :crazy:
SusieThePensioner wrote:A wonderful walk, Chris, and some fabulous views as usual :thumbup: I was beginning to think I must have somehow missed one of your reports :lol:

Thanks Susie, I've been slacking :lol: Hopefully normal service will resume now, though there may be a good mix of snow shoeing in there soon :wink:
User avatar
ChrisW
Rambler
 
Posts: 4940
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Postby morag1 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:50 pm

Always look forward to your reports and more of your beautiful photos Chris :D

I like the names of the Rockies, Forgetmenot ridge, Mt Glasgow, Mt Cornwall 8)

Have a great time in Florida and post some photos, even if you dont do much walking :thumbup:
morag1
 

Re: Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Postby ChrisW » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:58 pm

morag1 wrote:Always look forward to your reports and more of your beautiful photos Chris :D
I like the names of the Rockies, Forgetmenot ridge, Mt Glasgow, Mt Cornwall 8)
Have a great time in Florida and post some photos, even if you dont do much walking :thumbup:

Thanks Morag, there are many more mountains named after places in the UK over here, I always smile to myself with each new one I find :D If I find any interesting wandering in Florida I'll post it :wink:
User avatar
ChrisW
Rambler
 
Posts: 4940
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Postby gammy leg walker » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:47 pm

[quote="Stretch"]Welcome back pal, I can now get back to my regular drooling over all these Canada peaks. :clap:

Cant add much more than whats been said here Chris,stunning once again.
User avatar
gammy leg walker
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3388
Munros:272   Corbetts:7
Grahams:4   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:2   
Islands:7
Joined: Jan 30, 2010
Location: Central Region
Walk wish-list

Re: Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Postby Mountainlove » Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:52 pm

Oh some amazing pictures...that river looks pretty chilly indeed.. -12 Brrr thats so cold...guess thats the start for Canada?
User avatar
Mountainlove
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1284
Munros:67   Corbetts:37
Grahams:7   Donalds:9
Sub 2000:3   
Islands:9
Joined: Feb 2, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Postby ChrisW » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:41 pm

gammy leg walker wrote:
Stretch wrote:Welcome back pal, I can now get back to my regular drooling over all these Canada peaks. :clap:
Cant add much more than whats been said here Chris,stunning once again.

Cheers Gammy, it's nice to be back out there again :D

Mountainlove wrote:Oh some amazing pictures...that river looks pretty chilly indeed.. -12 Brrr thats so cold...guess thats the start for Canada?

Thanks ML, -12 is pretty common now for a few months (and a lot worse too :shock: ) but it brings with it blue skies and sunshine almost every day and best of all 0 rainfall for at least 4 months.....that's my kind of weather :wink:
User avatar
ChrisW
Rambler
 
Posts: 4940
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: Canada - Forgetmenot Ridge

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:51 pm

And I was beginning to wonder where you've been hiding for the last four weeks :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Now you come back with another stunner! :clap: :clap:
We don't have -12*C here but winter is slowly setting down in Scotland. Hopefully we'll all have white Christmas :D
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3735
Munros:260   Corbetts:172
Grahams:123   
Sub 2000:57   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

6 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Next



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests