Mount Burke
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Mount Burke - South Kananaskis Cataract Creek Area

The view of our objective from the parking area just outside the entrance to

Cataract Creek campground

Wide grassy area at the start on the north side of Salter Creek

Past the wide grassy area things begin to narrow down

Sometimes you have to walk on the creek bed as the trail fades here

and there, just keep to the left or north side of the creek

After a kilometer or so you hike on an old overgrown road for a bit

After 2.5 kilometers you arrive at the sign for the left hand turn

up the switchbacks from the creek bed

The start of the switchback trail

A view of the early switchbacks

Snow and some post holing higher up (May 17, 2008)

Just above tree line, head for the ridge point

Nice view of Plateau Mountain to the South

Our route so far to tree line

At the ridge point the way is obvious, still a bit of elevation to go though

The Calgary Outdoor Club on its way to the summit

Another good day away from the busy city!

 

Mount Burke – South Kananaskis

Scramble: Class 1 – Steep Hiking

Altitude: 2,240m (8,333 ft)

Elevation Gain: 880m (2,890 ft) 8km one way 16km return

Ascent Time: 2 1/2– 3 1/2 Hours

Best Season to Scramble: Mid May to October, Possible Ticks in Spring

Highlights

This scramble offers very nice views above tree line. My trip report was for March 17, 2008. If the weather is hot and dry take lots of water. At least 2 liters perhaps 3 liters.

Getting There

There is more than one way to get to Longview, Alberta from Calgary. I suggest taking the quickest route to highway 22x and turning south on highway 22 going through Turner Valley, left at Turner Valley over to Black Diamond, then a right in the middle of Black Diamond continuing on highway 22 south (watch for highway signs as you go through Turner Valley and Black Diamond) on to Longview. From Longview take highway 541 west for 44km to Highwood Junction then a left (south) on Forestry Service Road 940 (gravel road here) for approx 13km then a left onto the road to Cataract Creek Campground. Park just outside the campground entrance in a flat area to the right.

Route Description

Looking east from the parking area you can see the summit of Mt Burke and the long treed shoulder that the switchbacks ascend. From the parking area head up the broad grassy area next to Salter Creek. It’s wide at the start and narrows as you travel further up Salter Creek basically keeping to the North side of the creek. The trail disappears here and there as you go up the creek so sometimes you have to walk in the creek bed for a bit. Eventually as it narrows there is an old road that travels along the creek for a bit. The idea is to basically travel up the creek for around 2.5 km (approx 45 minutes). Then you arrive at the yellow sign nailed to the tree that point lefts to begin the switchbacks for Mt Burke. There is a short and steep section from the creek bed which then becomes the long and well graded switchbacks that take you to tree line. From tree line head for the ridge point straight above zig zagging up the slope. From the ridge point the summit appears in the distance and the way is obvious.