Storm Mountain (Highwood)
On 4 September 2004, I headed out to the Highwood Pass area of Kananaskis Country to scramble up Storm Mountain.  Taking the normal route up, I followed a good trail up the valley south of the peak's south summit.  Upon reaching a small meadow, I prematurely turned uphill to get onto the ridge leading to the south summit.  Although the scrambling is very enjoyable here, I crested the ridge a little further west than where I should have been, and as a result, I had to downclimb some difficult rock steps before continuing upward.  Just before cresting the ridge, I was surprised to hear a voice hail me from below.  Some guy had started out even later than me and was following my footsteps.  I shouted a greeting back to him and resumed my scrambling.  The guy followed me through the difficult rock steps (afterward, I found out he had inadvertently bear-sprayed himself here!) and caught up to me on the scree slope below the south summit.  He introduced himself as Cory Pennington, and after some discussion, we decided to complete the rest of the scramble together.

The wind was howling by the time we reached the south summit, and the main summit, plastered with snow, didn't look too inviting.  I certainly had second thoughts about continuing, but having a companion to share the misery seemed to strengthen my resolve to bag this peak.  Thus we continued along the ledge on the east side of the ridge connecting the south and main summits.  As per Alan Kane's route description, we eventually scrambled back onto the ridge crest just before the main summit.  Some sections here are both narrow and airy, and with the wind and snow that day, we must have been insane to tackle the ridge.  Nevertheless, we made it through safely and soon were standing beside the summit cairn in whiteout conditions.  I didn't bother searching too hard for the summit register in the snow-plastered cairn; I was more worried about our ensuing descent down the west face.

The upper portion of Kane's alternate descent route is much steeper than I had expected, and we took considerable time to come down this part.  The snow that day made some sections downright dangerous.  At one point, I slipped on some downsloping slabs and slid about ten metres.  I was very fortunate to escape with just a scraped knee.  Cory and I both breathed a sigh of relief when we reached the easy scree slopes at the bottom.  By this time, it was raining steadily, and we had to contend with more slippery rocks in the drainage gully on the way out.  Although my round-trip time was barely over 5 hours (about 4.5 hours for Cory), this felt like an epic, but I was glad to have shared the journey with a nice, makeshift partner like Cory (he was planning on climbing Mount Temple the next day while I was planning on doing Dim Sum).
Ascending the ridge prematurely leads to some difficult downclimbing. Cory picks his way through some challenging terrain.
The scree beneath the snow sucks! Cory slogs up to the south summit.
Doesn't look very promising... This is the main summit of Storm Mountain as seen from the south summit.
Maybe we should pick another objective... At the south summit, Cory checks the route description in the scrambles guide.  At upper right is Mist Mountain.
Watch your step here! The east side of the ridge connecting the south and main summits is a good place to get out of the wind.
Cory begins to second-guess his decision to follow Sonny! Cory straddles the narrow ridge crest en route to the main summit.
Not the best of days to be up here! While taking photographs at the summit, Cory kneels to steady himself against the strong wind.  Cory and Sonny would later cross the intervening ridge to the lower west summit (at right).  Alan Kane's alternate descent begins just beyond the west summit.
Two guys who are nuts! Cory and Sonny stand beside the snow-plastered cairn on the 3095-metre summit of Storm Mountain.
A slip here could be deadly. Cory crosses the exposed ridge to the west summit.
The alternate descent is not as easy as it seems and is worse with snow present. Cory works his way down the slope.  At this point, the worst of the downclimbing is past.