From the pullout, Zosia and I hiked through a gap in the forest to reach a power line right-of-way before turning right. There is a cairn in the right-of-way that marks the start of the trail which climbs up Mount Cory's south ridge, but due to my usual poor route-finding skills, we missed it on the way in. Fortunately, the start of the south ridge is pretty obvious to spot on the far side of the right-of-way, and we were soon grinding up the relentlessly steep trail. Early in the proceedings, we ran into the crux of the trip at a steep rock band which would normally pose few problems in dry conditions, but on this day, snow rendered the rocks dangerously slippery. With some care, we were able to surmount this obstacle and carry on up the ridge. For the next several hours, we slowly grinded our way upwards following bits of trail and occasional flagging or cairns. In fact, it is pretty hard to get off-track on this ridge even when the route is mostly covered with snow. Higher up, we began encountering deeper pockets of snow, but any post-holing we had to do was usually short-lived and tolerable. Upon reaching a windswept saddle, we turned left to ascend the remaining fifty-metre slope below the high point of Cory Cap. Again, deep pockets of snow hampered our progress here somewhat, but we eventually made it to the spacious top which is adorned with an aluminum tripod.
this day, the views from the high point of Cory Cap did not disappoint,
and had we more daylight, Zosia and I might have extended our stay to
longer than twenty-five minutes. Instead, we promptly took a few
requisite photos and had a quick bite before retracing our
steps back to the saddle and down the south ridge. Not
surprisingly, our descent took only half as long as our ascent, and
although the snow made our footing slippery, it also allowed us to
plunge-step quickly with less fatigue. The aforementioned crux was
a bit tricky to down-climb, but we managed to descend it safely without a
slip. The rest of the descent to the Bow Valley Parkway went
without a hitch, and we easily strolled back to the east gate to conclude
Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak To the southeast,
gleams in the afternoon sunlight. The clear-cut below
Cosmic Ray Road
is apparently Parks Canada's proactive measure to prevent a forest fire
in the area. Here is a comprehensive view of the remainder of
Alan Kane's route up Mount Cory.
Zosia is dismayed to find that the Bow
Valley Parkway is closed to public vehicular traffic which means that
she will have to walk an extra 1.7 kilometres (one-way) to reach the
trailhead. Cory Cap is barely visible above
the trees at far left.
At the trailhead, Zosia leaves the road and heads through a
gap in the forest to a power line right-of-way. The start of Mount
Cory's south ridge begins on the far side of the right-of-way a short
distance to the right.
Right from the start, the climb up the south ridge is relentlessly steep.
This is the most challenging section of the entire route for Cory Cap,
and the snow makes ascending (and descending) here drastically more difficult.
Zosia gets her first good glimpse of Cory Cap at left.
There are some sections of deep snow higher up the ridge.
The long ascent is nearly at an end.
A windswept saddle separates Cory Cap from the main mass of Mount Cory
On this day, snow complicates what would normally be an easy scramble to
the top of Cory Cap.
On top of Cory Cap is a tripod presumably used for surveying.
Zosia and Sonny stand on the high point of Cory Cap (2370 metres).
Notable peaks to the west include
(far left), Mount Brett
(right of centre), and
Pilot Mountain (right).
Familiar peaks stretch across the northwest horizon.
The west ridge of Mount Cory is comprised of some spectacular pinnacles.
Zosia begins the steep descent of Mount Cory's south ridge.
Distance: 9.4 kilometres
Round-Trip Time: 7 hours 21 minutes
Net Elevation Gain: 978 metres
Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak
To the southeast, Mount Rundle gleams in the afternoon sunlight. The clear-cut below Cosmic Ray Road is apparently Parks Canada's proactive measure to prevent a forest fire in the area.
Here is a comprehensive view of the remainder of Alan Kane's route up Mount Cory.