Distance: 9 km
Elevation gain: 325 m View map Download GPS track
The weather this fall has been rather abysmal in the mountains and I knew today would be no different, despite a forecast of warmth and sunshine from the perpetually confused turds of Environment Canada (how hard is it to check live webcams anyway!?). I was holding out hope that the weather would, however, be tolerable enough to justify slogging to the top of one of several peaks along Highway 40 before it closes down in a few weeks.
Unfortunately, as we drove south towards Kananaskis Lakes the omnipresent cloud lowered and we entered the region of everlasting flurries and snow squalls, and it suddenly didn’t seem worth it to battle the weather to have views resembling the inside of a ping-pong ball. Instead we turned to our backup plan, an easy-peasy snowshoe ascent of Kananaskis Lookout. There are many routes to its summit, but we started from a pullout on Highway 40. This would be the shortest route to its summit and give us the option of ascending the suddenly popular Mount Roberta if the weather miraculously cleared.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about a dreary-day ascent of Kananaskis Lookout. The route from the highway is the summer access road to the lookout, so it’s gently graded and viewless. A snowshoe track broken the day before made travel very easy today, although I still found it unusually difficult, presumably as this was the first time I’ve snowshoed this season.
After just 75 minutes we reached the breezy summit. I’ve seen lots of reports on this area and the view can be spectacular, but today the low cloud obscured every mountain and the snow flurries largely hid the lakes. We’re trying to hike to every fire lookout in the Alberta Rockies, however, and so it was nice to reach this one before the route to it is taken over by skiers that are rumored to be highly territorial and aggressive with outsiders.
Our descent to the truck was uneventful, although we did encounter two groups of scramblers heading up Mount Roberta, complementing the group of two with the same plan we’d met as we started out. It’s been on my list for a few years now, so hopefully its Facebook fame dies down in the next couple of weeks so I can enjoy a trip up there too!