20170625: Rock Garden (Compression Ridge, Kananaskis)

17km, 10hrs, 1700m elevation gain.

Some people call it “The Fin”; we’ll call it “The Cockscomb”. The rock formation didn’t care. Either way, it was covered in flowers.

We’ve been experiencing searing hot days and Sunday was no exception. On a 28 degrees centigrade blue sky day, we found alpine blossoms in unexpected places. Some I’ve never seen before.

In between the sharp thin layers of grey and brown shale, there were patches of yellow alpine buttercups and white mountain avens, masses of tiny purple moss champion, the wide white petals of western anemone, and so many more I don’t know the names of. There were so many flowers it was nearly impossible not to step on them. We stared down at the rock garden of a mountain as we ascended the steep slope to the ridge, finding pairs of moths mating among the fossils. Rock snapped under our boots and crumbled in our hands, drawing blood, as we made our way in the heat, slowly and sun-lazily, along that long, long ridgeline between Nihahi and Compression.

Compression Ridge
That’s our ridge. We tagged Nihahi summit and then continued to Compression.
Compression Ridge
Refilling water bottles in the snow patches
Compression Ridge
From Nihahi, starting up Compression Ridge
Compression Ridge
The Cockscomb feature, looking back at Mike
Compression Ridge
Making our way down the Cockscomb
Compression Ridge
It’s covered in flowers 🙂
Lots of interesting scrambling
Compression Ridge
The Window feature
Partway down the descent, we took a breather. Panorama showing most of the ridge line. We started on the very left.

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