May 26th Monday.
Set out with Kerry & J.R. to find the route up Exshaw Ridge and back down to Exshaw Creek for a planned hike on June 4th. The route is described in Dafferns Vol 3. The floods of last year have change the landscape on many of ther hikes in Canmore and Kananaskis. Exshaw Creek flooded through the village and was one of the worst hit communities in the area.The creek has now all been restored. The parking is now infront of the Legion.Walk up the berm of Exshaw Creek or through the streets to Mt Lorrete Drive and find the trail past the water plant as the above photo shows.
The trail goes under the power lines and up a dirt track that is used by off road 4X4’s. Update don’t go under the power lines take the trail that goes right into the trees After that you walk through the trees for 2 km looking for a right hand turn that is marked by a small cairn. Follow the trail through more trees now, flagged, going up hill untill the trees thin out and it turns into a rocky scree type path. The first summit is on your left and the trail leads you up through more trees to the top.
Summit # 1 & 2 are treed at summit 3 the ridge opens out and you have views across to Gap and Fable on the Exshaw Creek side and on the Jura Creek side Loader,Goat and Hasslecastle.
Although it looks like you are losing a lot of elevation between peaks it is not as bad as it looks.
At the col we went across the fall line to a small humuck without trees and then headed down, steep at first but angling left to the drainage creek we found open good space between the trees. When we came out at the creek we were at a small cliff but going a little down stream found a easy way down. The creek was flowing at a good rate and it was a nightmare clinging to the left side of the creek. Every time the creek rushed against a rock wall we headed up into the bush to get around. We left the top of 6&7 at 13:30 and did not get back to the car until 18:00. DO NOT take this route when you cannot hop back and forth across the creek. Even then with all the flooding the creek is covered in dead fall and any path that might have been there is washed away.
Distance return 13.5 km Time return 6 hrs ( inc 30 min lunch ) Elevation gain 770 m Total height 2080 m ( this is without the creek)
GPS Download Shows Creek Route
GPS DownLoad Shows updated route with more track points. No Creek