September 11, 2011 was an incredibly hot day. Probably too hot for hiking, but my son Joel, his friend Carlos, and I went anyway. Our original plan was to summit Victoria Peak, but after feeling the heat at such an early point in the day, we decided to turn our attention toward the less strenuous, Prairie Bluff (a.k.a. Corner) Mountain (far right). To make things a little more adventurous, we worked our way from south to north, summiting two unnamed bumps (left and centre) before hiking to the summit of Prairie Bluff. (Edit: I have since given the nicknames, “Prairie Fire” and “Prairie Sky” to these foothills.) We then descended the usual ascent route for Prairie Bluff. Even though we changed our plans to a lesser objective, it was a great (though very hot) day.
Looks like we forgot to pack something….
Victoria Peak was our original goal…. but that will be next time when it is not 30c at 10:00am in the morning.
Leaving the road and heading up “Prairie Sky”. The north slopes of “Prairie Storm” are behind.
Looking up to the summit of “Prairie Sky”.
Joel and Carlos scramble up.
Looking down on Joel and Carlos as they work their way up.
Finding our way up and over the crux.
A cliff off of the south face of the”Prairie Sky”.
Joel heading over the crux.
The view south toward Victoria Peak (centre) from the summit of “Prairie Sky”. Pincher Ridge is on the left.
Looking back at our ascent route.
A view north to the summit of “Prairie Fire” and behind it, Prairie Bluff Mountain.
Looking down from the “Prairie Sky” to the valley at the base of “Prairie Fire”. The trail shown is one of the popular ways to get to Prairie Bluff. We would follow it up to “Prairie Fire”.
Dang! I broke my poles going down some rock bands!
The rock bands where I broke my poles.
Bushwhacking in the valley between “Prairie Sky” and “Prairie Fire”.
Lots of interesting geology to see on this hike.
Just down from the summit of “Prairie Fire” and looking to Prairie Bluff’s summit.
Motivational tactics are sometimes needed….
A 360 panorama of Prairie Bluff’s summit. From left to right: Pincher Ridge, Victoria Peak, Mount Windsor, Castle Peak, ‘Mill Creek Peak’, Mount Gladstone, ‘Table Top’, and Table Mountain. The small bumps on the prairie are: Mount Backus, Mount Baldy, Mount Albert, and Piney Point.
Joel and I on Prairie Bluff’s summit. North is behind us.
Joel and Carlos on the summit.
Looking south at Victoria Peak from Prairie Bluff’s summit. Pincher Ridge is on the left. “Mill Creek Peak” and Mount Gladstone are on the far right. In the distance to the right of centre are Windsor Mountain and Castle Peak.
Making our way down from Prairie Bluff’s summit.
Joel jumps a gap.
Just down from Prairie Bluff (right) with “Prairie Fire” in the background. Now comes the bushwhacking…
Holy Cow! A stand off while bushwacking…
Looking back at “Prairie Fire” (left) and Prairie Bluff (right) as we head to the car . Though extremely hot, changing our plans at the last minute made for a great day.