2013-06-01 | Plateau Mountain | 2504m | 9.4km | 537m rolling gain
Super-Saturday season opener with Peter. Headed out Hwy 532 and had to run the gauntlet of cows and new calves who didn't want to give way.
We contemplated ascending the south end of Plateau but continued around to the normal route which is a road that accesses the Suncor wells on top of Plateau – stopped there and the first gate (which is supposed to be open) was locked. Backtracked a kilometre or so to another road – also gated and locked not far from the road. We decided to access this way as the map showed some promising ridges.
Nearing the top the snow got deeper and in places on top it was possible to sink in knee deep unexpectedly... not the most relaxing walking. One of the appeals of Plateau is the “patterned ground' caused by years of freeze-thaw cycles aligning the rocks. Of this we couldn't see too much of thanks to the snow. We crossed to the east side and traversed north along that ridge until we came to some tracks which I think belonged to a wolverine. We followed the tracks up to the door of the shack where they milled around a little and then returned exactly the way they had come. Perhaps at some point in the past a free meal was had there? From the top we had a 360 degree view all the way to Montana in the south, the continental divide to the west, prairies east and Calgary to the north.
Rather than return the way we had come we dropped into the valley further up, zigzagged some minor cliff bands, post-holed a short distance and had lunch at the confluence of two creeks with some picturesque waterfalls. Return was a simple ramble / side-hilling down the creek-bed to the truck.
A fine start to the Super-Saturday season!
© Clayton Ditzler