Elbow Four Peak Traverse

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Mount Glasgow
  • Location: Kananaskis Country (Highway 66/68)
  • Activity: Bike-N-Hike
  • Height: 2,935 m (9,630 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,260 m (4,134 ft)
  • Distance: 12.4 km / One Way (7.7 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 5.8°
  • Technicality: Intermediate
Ben and I changed our plan at the last minutes and decided to join Wil’s solo trip to the famous big 4 peak traverse at Elbow. Yes I’m talking about Mt. Glasgow – Mt. Cornwall – Outlaw Peak – Banded Peak traverse. We had TR and kicksteps from Team ClayDan, so they made this long traverse little easier for us.

I have done Banded Peak in 2008 and that trip remained in my favorite 18 trips for a long time. It did have knocked out of 18 but with this big traverse, it’s back on favorite 18 again! Well worth the suffering.

Big Elbow:
From parking lot we rode bike on Big Elbow until South Glasgow Creek which was about 4.2 km. We parked our bike at the dry creek bed. The creek bed was somewhat big and wide that it might confuses you which way is actually S. Glasgow Creek. If you are not sure, go more towards right from the trail. Here you are not supposed to be near trees, so if you hit trees, then you are at a wrong place.

South Glasgow Creek:
We followed the creek for 6.3 km after the Big Elbow trail. Then we started ascending SE slope of Glasgow. At this point we were close to treeline, so bushwhacking wasn’t a problem. After looking down we realized there is a big gully we could have used (page 6). I am guessing this gully hits the creek around 5.8 km from the Big Elbow.

The 4 Peak Traverse:
They were all easy scramble and route was pretty much straight forward. I don’t think I need to say much. See page 10 for route line. Simply enjoy the magnificent view!! Superb!

Descent:
From the summit of Banded Peak, we followed north ridge. Once at a stream at the bottom, cross over to left (north) side of the stream. In order to do that you have to hike up 20-30 m moraine-like slope (page 29). Bushwhack for few hundred meters and look for a horse trail. It starts around GR482228 (waypoint “Trail Here!”). This trail led us to Big Elbow.

After merging back to Big Elbow, we walked back to where we parked our bike then rode back to the car.

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Very pretty creek. Would have been even prettier if Wil managed to make himself all wet.

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Ben being a wild man again.

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More pretty creek sceneries. It could have been even prettier if Ben managed to make himself all wet.

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Summit of Glasgow.

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The gully we could have taken is behind Wil.

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Nearing the summit, it started involving more scrambling.

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Almost the summit. Took us 5.5 hours. 3 more peaks to go!

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Summit view.

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Mouseover for rote line.

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Unfamiliar side of Opal Range. Not used to see them from this side.

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Group pic. From left, the man, Wil, then Ben.

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Mount Cornwall
  • Location: Kananaskis Country (Highway 66/68)
  • Activity: Bike-N-Hike
  • Height: 2,970 m (9,745 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,620 m (5,315 ft)
  • Distance: 15.0 km / One Way (9.3 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 6.2°
  • Technicality: Intermediate
To the highest summit of the 4, Cornwall.

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Looking back Glasgow.

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Shadow face.

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Not as much snow as I saw in Crowsnest, but the front range got bit of snow.

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At the summitof Cornwall. 2 down 2 to go.

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OutLaw Peak
  • Location: Kananaskis Country (Highway 66/68)
  • Activity: Bike-N-Hike
  • Height: 2,957 m (9,702 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,930 m (6,332 ft)
  • Distance: 17.1 km / One Way (10.6 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 6.4°
  • Technicality: Intermediate
The easiest traverse of the day.

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What a view!

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Wil coming down snowy slope.

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There were rockbands on the way up to Outlaw Peak. We thought we should go to left, but foot steps from Team ClayDan went to right, so we followed. The bands we thought might be on our way from distance wasn't really rockbands. It was easy.

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Slogging up.

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At Outlaw Peak. 3 down, 1 to go.

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Banded Peak II
  • Location: Kananaskis Country (Highway 66/68)
  • Activity: Bike-N-Hike
  • Height: 2,934 m (9,626 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 2,280 m (7,481 ft)
  • Distance: 34.6 km / Loop (21.5 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 7.5°
  • Estimated Time: 11-14 hrs
  • Technicality: Intermediate
To Banded Peak. It named because it has band? I would have named this Breast Peak.

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Again Wil coming down snowy slope.

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Second time at the summit of Breast Banded Peak.

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It's feels nice to stand on top of Breast Banded Peak! Hard to believe some human like Ferenc who can come up here in just over 2 hours. Maybe I should give Breast Banded Peak Challenge a try someday.

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Time to go home. Good bye Breast Banded Peak. (ノω・、)

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Decent gully. The horse trail is on left of the stream.


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