We parked one vehicle near Sentinel (parking lot currently closed) and drove back to the trailhead at the Kananaskis Country boundary sign on HWY 541. A school group was already there, so we decided to forego the trail and head off-trail up the ridge to Marston Cr. Hill. On the way, we encountered a colourful prayer flag from a First Nations ceremony. From the hilltop we dropped down to the col and made our way down to Marston Creek. It was a bit icy on this shady aspect, but not enough to require icers.
Our furry friends are waking up
After crossing through the gated fence, we headed straight up the ridge in front of us, crossing through a cliff-band on our way to the east-most Bull Creek Hill.
Susan making her way through a cliff band
Bill finding his way up
So far, we encountered very little snow.
Susan,Bill,Jane, and Marianne on top of East Bull Cr. Hill
All that was about to change after we had lunch and continued on to the second and highest Bull Creek Hill. We looked for opportunities to drop down to the sunny south side and avoid post-holing wherever possible. Even though there is a summer trail, it was mostly buried in all the snow.
There were old snowshoe & human foot tracks to follow much of the way as we traversed the 3 main bumps and down to a lower one along the ridge to Fir Creek Point (which we did not visit).
Occasional strong wind gusts kept us on our toes. We were in shade in the morning and sun in the afternoon, with the Chinook arch directly above us at noon. We never saw the school group again, but did see a couple coming up Pack Trail Coulee as we were heading down. There was more snow this year than in previous years, but we didn’t need icers at any point. There seemed to agreement for planning for a car shuttle to avoid a 4 km highway walk back to the starting point.
My thanks to participants: Susan, Bill, Jane, and Marianne, who made the Bull Creek Hills traverse such an enjoyable trip. Brian, Coordinator.