Mount Yamnuska

On 17 July 2014, a small group of my co-workers and I spent the day hiking up Mount Yamnuska in Alberta's Bow Valley Wildland.  The participants included John Bourne, Lorianne Coursol, Tim Embree, Isabelle Landry, Eric MacDonald, Andy Paschke and myself.  Our original plan was to only hike up Yamnuska Ridge and stop at the base of the eastern cliffs of Mount Yamnuska, but we made such good time that it was only natural to continue up the backside of the mountain.  Smoke from forest fires in Banff National Park and British Columbia marred or obscured much of the surrounding distant scenery, but we were still able to marvel at the great cliffs of Mount Yamnuska itself during our ascent.  While most of the group finally decided to stop just before the crux, Isabelle and I continued up to the true summit.  When I climbed Mount Yamnuska 18 years earlier, traversing the exposed ledges of the crux was a memorable, white-knuckled experience.  A chain is now bolted across this same section rendering the crux a lot safer and perhaps even a little boring.  After tagging the true summit, Isabelle and I backtracked to rejoin the rest of the group, and together we descended the way we came.  It was perhaps a shame that we missed out on the great scree run at the front of the mountain, but we still had a fairly quick descent (round-trip time was a very leisurely 5 hours 15 minutes).  A fantastic lunch at a pub in Cochrane, Alberta capped off a very enjoyable day.
It's a brisk pace--everyone must be full of beans! The group gains elevation quickly on a good trail.
Andy is going real light with just a water bottle! L to R, Isabelle, Andy, Eric and Tim pause for a break at a trail junction.
John is hiking in slip-ons! John and Lorianne are happy hikers.
Pretty in pink! Wild bergamot
Still not sure how far up we're going at this point... Everyone is still in good spirits at a clearing which affords a good view of the eastern face of Mount Yamnuska.
So glad I don't have to pull real dandelions anymore... False dandelion
Pretty in purple! Harebells
This is where we were supposed to stop... The group reaches the east end of Mount Yamnuska's cliff face.
Okay, so I guess we're NOT stopping here! The group continues up the crack that grants access to the backside of Mount Yamnuska.
I haven't climbed any of these yet...maybe next fall/winter? To the north is the East Peak of Wendell Mountain.  In the hazy distance at far right is Association Peak.
Do NOT follow the trails shown! Isabelle and Andy survey the scenery on the backside of Mount Yamnuska.
Are we stopping here? The group stops at the edge of a cliff.
This is so much fun that we should keep going! The group scrambles up to a notch.
Maybe just a little further? The group stops again to contemplate how much farther they should go.
And people climb up this side? No thanks! The cliffs of Mount Yamnuska are an awesome sight.
Terrain like this certainly makes you more aware of gravity! Lorianne and John cautiously look over the edge.
I wanna be a cowboy... Tim trudges up the trail with Andy and Eric just behind him.
Most of the group would finally stop here. The true summit is finally visible at right.  The crux is just around the next ridge.
We don't need no stinkin' chain! Isabelle follows the chain at the crux.
The chain kinda gets in the way in places! Isabelle descends from the crux ledge.
Isabelle leads the way! The true summit is only a few minutes away.
It took us a leisurely 2 hours and 47 minutes to get up here from the parking lot. Isabelle and Sonny reach the 2240-metre summit of Mount Yamnuska.
She spent less than 8 minutes at the top. Isabelle descends from the summit.  East Peak of Wendell Mountain and Association Peak (distant right) are still visible despite the smoke in the air.
Half of Yam is better than no Yam! This is the eastern half of Mount Yamnuska as seen from the summit.
It's a shame that we couldn't do the traverse and the front side scree run. Goat Mountain is about the only peak that is distinguishable to the west on this day.
We need to descend a bit here before climbing back up. Isabelle heads back to the crux (upper left).
Too easy! Isabelle traverses across the crux again.
Time to find a pub! L to R are John, Isabelle, Lorianne, Tim, Eric, Andy and Sonny.
Fun scrambling! John and Lorianne descend the crack at the east end of Mount Yamnuska.
She would actually hike the last few hundred metres without her left boot! Lorianne's left boot is falling apart!
The prettiest wildflower in the Rockies! Western wood lily