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Mount Livingstone from the slopes of Coffin Mountain.

It was the first official day of fall 2012, and my nephew, Jeff and I decided to celebrate by climbing Mount Livingstone and Saddle Mountain. Livingstone is located next to Coffin Mountain which my daughter, Janelle, and I had climbed a few weeks before.  I wanted to get in another 2 peak day and thought a return trip to the south Kananaskis was a good plan.

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Our route up Mount Livingstone and Saddle Mountain. It was a perfect fall day for a scramble with little to no wind and great weather – except for the forest fire haze from B.C. which would obscure some of our views.

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Our elevation gains and distance travelled. The abrupt elevation gain at the 9th km is where we bushwacked up a steep slope to get out of the creek bed.

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The first day of fall and the leaves have already changed.

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A withered old tree on Livingstone’s lower slopes.

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Looking up the slopes of Livingstone. The ridge we used to ascend is on the left and the false summit is on the right.

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Heading up to gain the ridge.

Mount Livingstone Fossil

The first of many fossils and interesting rocks that we would find.  I can only imagine how many more we would have found if Joel had been with us.

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This is the band of rock that we needed to overcome to gain the ridge.

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Jeff scrambles up.

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Another fossil.

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The false summit of Mount Livingstone.

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Jeff hikes up the ridge.

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The end of the ridge marked the beginning of a scree hike to the summit (in the distance to the left).

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Jeff comes to the end of the ridge. Coffin Mountain (Mt. Speke) is in the background.

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A GQ outdoor shot of Jeff with Coffin Mountain in the background.

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A herd of sheep lounges below the summit block of Mount Livingstone.

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On the col between the false summit and the summit of Mt. Livingstone.

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The summit block looks a little tricky from this angle, but you can scramble up the left side of it with little difficulty.

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Jeff scrambles up the summit block.

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Jeff stands on top of the cliff band he just ascended.

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Checking my GPS. At the end of the day we would need the GPS to guide us out of the valley, particularly while we were bushwacking through heavy brush.

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The south and true summit of Mount Livingstone.  Saddle Mountain is in the background.

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The elevation of the south summit.

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Jeff and I on the summit of Mount Livingstone. We made it from Jeff’s car to the summit in exactly 2 hours (well, 2 hours and 1 minute).

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The view east towards Saddle Mountain from Livingstone’s summit.

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The view south from the summit. A heavy haze from forest fires in B.C. obscured the views to the south and the west. Coffin Mountain is in the centre and Sheep Mountain is on the left.

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The smoky view to the west.

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The smoky view to the southwest.

Mount Livingstone Summit

The summit cairn of Mt. Livingstone with Coffin Mountain in the background.

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On toward the lower north summit of Livingstone.

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Looking toward our next objective, Saddle Mountain. The true summit is the peak on the left. It’s not a big mountain (neither is Livingstone) but looks can be deceiving as it is about 70m higher than Turtle Mountain in the Crowsnest Pass (of course the starting elevation is higher too).

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The absolutely massive cairn on top of the north summit of Mt. Livingstone.

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Jeff and I on the north summit of Mount Livingstone. The size of this cairn must be some kind of record. It’s really weird that someone would build such a big monument not on the actual summit.

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The reading on my GPS at the north summit.

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Jeff celebrates being on top of Mount Livingstone by re-enacting an old Toyota commercial…

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I decided to climb the cairn just so that I could say that I had a harder and higher hike than Jeff did.

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Heading towards Saddle Mountain. It’s called Saddle Mountain because it looks like a….. saddle.  Click to read my trip report for Saddle Mountain.

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