October 19th 2016.
Mt Ishbel lies between Johnston Canyon, west and Mt Cockscomb, east. The approach is at Ranger Creek from Hwy 1A. 11 km from the Banff turn off from Hwy 1. Hillsdale Meadow Exhibit is just past Ranger Creek. Taking the flood damaged creek may not be the best approach now. We returned through Hillside Meadow and this way avoids some of the dead fall and the creek. Any way we used the creek and then headed up the ridge with burnt trees and dead fall. We stayed on the ridge all the way up to our high point of the day. Coming down we dropped earlier into the gully and the back to the ridge. Then, when we could see the meadow without any rock bands below we headed down through the bush in that direction. At the high point we travelled across a rock face to see if there was a further way up. I have read that is the way to go and then find a weakness up past the cliff. On this snowy day it was not suitable to try any further. At the point under the cliffs was when we encountered the sheep. They had a route up and were determined to stick to it. We were on a small rock rise investigating the track of one sheep when three more appeared. They wanted to come that way but reluctantly decided to by pass us. Later we saw them as shown in the pictures below.
Distance return 8.3 km Time return 6 hrs ( inc 30 min lunch ) Elevation Accumulated gain 995 m Elevation to Summit 810 m Summit height 2270 m
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