Traverse of Yamnuska VE6/HC-031

Thanks to everybody waiting for me to turn up….!

The 900 m ascent took 5 hours today, most of it in knee deep snow. The crux required crampons today but I managed to clean the route sufficiently for following groups including a dog which was apparently hand carried. Its kind of deflating to the ego to summit after breaking trail on 45 - 60 degree slopes in knee deep powder, doing mixed ice/rock in crampons… only to be followed to the summit by some college students and a dog… They were kind enough to thank me for my efforts of trail breaking and sheepishly admitted to being totally unprepared for the technical challenges of this route.

Yamnuska is positioned at the entrance to the Bow Valley and it has a dramatic McConnel Thrust of vertical limestone on one side rising to 2240 m. The route today does a complete traverse of the mountain from East to West including the peak.

Today I experienced considerable QRN & QSB on 20m. My previous activations have been quite clean of external interference. I was unable to rustle up any activity on 40 m [maybe my lateness, but there was noticeable QRN]. I am wondering if I should try a significantly lower frequency in future, in case I am too close to MUF?

Name Callsign Me You Distance
Gary w0mna 55 56 2037km
Eugene kc3rt 55 55 2929km
Barry n1eu 44 57 3228km
William w4zv 55 55 3271km
Richard n4ex 35 33 3344km
Stanton ae7ut 33 55 1556km S2S
Bryce ae4fn 44 33 3282km
Jean Charron ve2jcw 54 22 3052km
Elliot k6ilm 22 33 1600km S2S

Images: Yamnuska_Route | VA6MCB | Flickr

More images to be added tomorrow

In reply to VA6MCB:

I was looking for you on 40 meters, but heard nothing in all the noise. The bands were terrible here today, I don’t think a lower freq would’ve helped this time.

I’m waiting for the snow to melt down here and then I’ll hit some of the Crowsnest peaks.


In reply to VE6KAD:
Thanks for the effort Kevin. There was high Aurora activity here so that might have affected things? Let me know when the snow melts down by you, we have at least another month before the foot hills clear and the higher peaks will be July.


In reply to VA6MCB:

Great pictures Walker.

Whilst not exactly in the same league as your successful summit attempt by far, I blazed a trail through waist high snow drifts to the top of a summit in the Yorkshire Dales a few weeks ago. I found that other parties had followed my trail exactly when I started my descent. Navigation was the main issue as the visibility was poor due to the snow.

73, Colin

In reply to M0CGH:
Colin, the weather was warm for us. I was able to operate without gloves. I heard that the UK has been in a deep freeze where the humidity is much more chilling, so I am not sure I would swap a desolate Yorkshire moor for a sunny “Blue Bird” day in Alberta, I also got some points for winter.


You guys blazing trails in waist deep snow are using snowshoes, right?

Barry N1EU

In reply to N1EU:
Barry I am wearing 14 point crampons on fully rigid winter mountaineering boot, I took off the crampons for the glisading descent. It was too steep & sketchy for snow shoes. The snow was rarely deeper than my knees but ice on rock ledges necessitated the crampons. I managed the route with ski poles.