Trip Date: January 28, 2017
Trip time: 7 hours
Distance: 8.4 kms
Elevation Gain: 1,061m
Route: Alternate (Bronson/Hardy)
Difficulty: Easy with exposure to the first summit, moderate to the second (if dry)
On Jan 28th we went for a stroll up Spoon Needle; it’s that sexy fin-shaped peak just south of Mount Kidd. Wyatt had recently attempted this peak from the Fortress side, but was foiled by a long bushwhack through deep snow.
Armed with Bronson’s beta we decided to take a more direct approach to Spoon Needle and started at the Opal day use area on Highway 40. We were elated to find that the Kananaskis River was frozen over and could easily be crossed at that point. This good fortune bolstered our spirits as we bush-whacked up the steep eastern slopes to the ridge. Snow was at least knee deep much of the way and snowshoes came in handy while following the ridge.
The ridge finally rose above the tree line and we had the great pleasure of scrambling dry rock to reach the summit. After some dawdling, the intense Chinook winds chased us off the summit and back down the ridge. The descent to the valley bottom over loose sugar-snow was slippery and involved a lot of tree grabbing. -By Geoff Hardy