Sat, Nov 11 2017 - Odlum Ridge Scramble / Snowshoe (View Original Event Details)

Event Coordinator(s): Gil
Participants:Gil, Gail, Marvella

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Write Up:
It took us longer than we thought.

What a beautiful day with 2 lovely ladies.

Once you cross the river, there is a noticeable animal trail directly in front of you which will lead you only to fun ‘bush wacking’. I would recommend that once you cross the river quickly find the true cut line which will be more north (up stream) of that identifiable animal track. The cut line has been over grown with brush and is tougher going up than coming down it. Best to put your hands and elbows together in front of your face while holding your poles to cover the ‘whip lash’ effect of the brush and push through.

Eventually the cutline eases with no brush. At the point where you decided to take the 90 degree elbow towards the ridge, there are options. We chose the track of what most would do during the summer or fall but during winter it became a great adventurous challenge which consumed majority of our time. During this winter condition, it was very steep, with lots of brush obstacles to go over and difficult with snowshoes. However, a mountain axe would be less effective as you have no leverage to climb (snow was not yet deep or hard enough so your foot came into contact with slippery grass) and would only help in a ‘self arrest’ situation. Poles were your companions and proper use or technique of the crampons beneath your snowshoes. The steep slippery grass slope during the winter is technical with snowshoes and you don’t want to fall.

During the winter, there is an alternative route, that might offer more comfort in the sense of less grade, but it would require you to go 350 -370 meters west down the cutline where a meadow becomes accessible and then up the ridge, this was the way we came down, as the original ascent going up to come down would have been dangerous.

As we cusp the shoulder of the ridge, a dark windy cold weather system was coming from the south west which we didn’t want to get caught in and our ‘turn around time’ for light had expired. We had about 2 ½ hours left to get to the ridge summit, but it was time to turn around. We decided to call the ‘shoulder’ of the ridge our summit and head back to the tree line for lunch.

If we were to do the same ridge again that day, we would have had to leave Calgary at 6AM. It was a beautiful blessed day and we commit that time out together in ‘remembrance of’ those who fought for our freedom, including the “King of Kings.” “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” John 15:13