Steven Song's Peak-bagging Journey

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Southfork Mountain

To get to Southfork, we had to drop down to the top of our ascent gully first, followed by ascending the unnamed peak in between. There was no bear problem on the ridge crest, so I went there on my own pace. Eric and Raff talked a lot so they were not on a fast speed. Although unnamed, the reddish colored GR907662 does represent the typical mountain in Casle Waterton area. The summit is only about 10m lower than Barnaby Ridge, and to get there, you have quite a bit of elevation to go from both sides, so it deserves to be claimed as a separate summit. In my opinion, any summit that's named counts (official and unofficial), and unnamed summits that are significantly higher than the surroundings also counts. I waited for Eric and Raff on the summit. We briefly cheered for our second peak.

According to Raff's GPS, Southfork Mountain lies 1.5km farther along the ridge, 150m lower than GR907662. It doesn't look like a mountain though, but rather just a bump at the start of Barnaby Ridge Range. A name of Why-bother Peak is more suitable. There're some interesting moderate scrambling sections to get down GR907662, and we all enjoyed that. Despite the lower elevation, Southfork Mountain does offer great views down to Southfork Lakes, which are not visible from GR907662. We also got a better view of Crowsnest Pass area, including Flathead Range and Crowsnest Mountain (our objective for the next day). There was a canister but no book inside... While descending from GR907662, we took a note on an alternate descending gully, which could save us from re-ascending GR907662. We stayed a bit longer on Southfork Mountain before heading down. Wind speed was very reasonable throughout the day, 0-40kph. One thing I just realized is, Southfork Mountain is my 50th summit of year 2012. I don't see a reason that I can't get 100+ summits in this year. The initial part of the alternate descent route was a fast scree run, which ends at a boulder field. Lower down, we re-entered the thick bushes... Following the drainage down, we encountered lots of avalanche debris (dead falls, etc) just about going into the forest. Negotiating dead falls and thick bushes was the major theme for the next 1.5 hours, worse than our ascent gully. The thickest bushwhacking I've ever done so far in my peak bagging career. It also reminded Eric the descent from Gargoyle Mountain, which was his thickest bushwhacking experience. Raff has done lots of ascents in BC, so apparent he's used to these stuff. We enjoyed the water in West Castle River before getting back to car. Raff had other plans for the next two days. Blackface Mountain is high on his list, and maybe next weekend? Based on the photos taken from Tripoli Mountain, Blackface will be a very scenic long ridge walk.

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Photos taken by Steven