Iyarhe Ipan

With plans to attend a slideshow party later in the day on 20 November 2016, Zosia Zgolak and I chose to do a short hike up Iyarhe Ipan near Elbow Falls in Alberta's Kananaskis Country.  Drawing our inspiration from Bob Spirko's trip report, we started the day by fording the Elbow River a little upstream of Elbow Falls.  The river was surprisingly fast and deep, and we had to search a bit to find a reasonable place to cross.  Once across the main river, we easily rock-hopped across a smaller channel and then began climbing up the forested slope on the far side.  We followed bits of trail and the odd flagging tape up the slope, and although snow made some steeper sections quite slippery, we generally had few issues gaining the rocky summit ridge.  The actual high point of Iyarhe Ipan is disappointingly covered with trees, but there are enough open spots along the ridge with respectable views to still make the ascent worthwhile.  After a short break at the top, we promptly retraced our steps back down the ridge.  We ended the trip with another chilly splash across the Elbow River.
I love my hip waders! Sonny wades across a side channel near Elbow River.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Zosia is the definition of hardcore! Zosia enters the deepest part of Elbow River.
If in doubt, go straight up! Bits of game trail lead Zosia up the forested slope.
Some spots can still be slippery in the snow--bring snow boots or ice cleats. The route stays in the trees to the left of the cliffs.
Best part of the hike! Zosia gains the summit ridge of Iyarhe Ipan.
She could have gone around to the left of the tree too! Zosia treads carefully around a tree at a mildly exposed section along the ridge.
This isn't the summit, but this is probably the best viewpoint of the day. Zosia approaches a large cairn on the summit ridge.
Not much to see from this summit! Zosia and Sonny stand on the summit of Iyarhe Ipan (1951 metres).
Makes no difference where I go. You’re the best hometown I know. Hello, Calgary. Hello Cal-ga-ry! Channels 2 & 7 love you! Downtown Calgary is visible about 54 kilometres away to the northeast.

That's a little better, and even the sun is out!

Zosia and Sonny pose for a nicer "summit shot" further down the ridge.


Classic Kane!

To the southwest are Banded Peak, Outlaw Peak, Mount Cornwall and Mount Glasgow.


We didn't see a single soul all day. I bet that would not have been the case on Prairie Mountain! Zosia carefully makes her way down the summit ridge.  At right is Prairie Mountain.
A good place for reflection! Algae can be seen at the margins of this quiet side channel near Elbow River.
Our round-trip time was 3 hours 52 minutes. Zosia re-crosses Elbow River.