Here are some pictures of two different trips: a scramble up Exshaw Ridge, and a paddle down the Red Deer River

Exshaw Ridge

Exshaw Ridge rises to the north of the town of Exshaw, between Exshaw Creek and Jura Creek.  I began by scrambling up Exshaw Mountain, which is tree-covered and doesn’t have views.  From the top of Exshaw Mountain I had to drop down 100 vertical meters to a saddle before being able to continue climbing along the ridge.  The solution to this annoyance is to bypass Exshaw Mountain in the forest to the west, which I did on return.  Once on top of the second high point the views start to open up, and continuing along the ridge is a joy.  I kept going for several hours, and turned around at the last patch of thick trees in the following picture.


Here is a view back towards Exshaw and the Bow Valley:


Here is a view down Jura Creek.


Here is a view back down Exshaw Ridge, showing the way I came.  Height gain to this point is about 800 m, but the dips along the ridge add to this total.


Calypso Bulbosa, a type of orchid, was flowering in the forest.


I found some of the last crocuses of the season.  It looked like they had come up in an area that was covered by a snowbank until late in the season.


There were a lot of shooting stars around.  I always enjoy photographing these different-looking flowers.



Red Deer River

Diana and I paddled the Red Deer River from Mackenzie Crossing to Drumheller, June 1-4, spending three nights along the river.  Flow was at medium, about 60 m3/s.  It was a really hot week, and temperatures reached 36C.  We spent quite a bit of time sitting in the shade of cottonwood trees and cooling off in the river.  Only sunset brought relief from the heat.


Our first camp was a popular spot with beavers.  We watched them swim by along the river’s edge, right in front of our feet, and we watched them go ashore to gnaw on twigs.



Having a pancake breakfast along the river on a sunny morning was really enjoyable.


Sunset along the river.



Lunch stop on a very hot day.


Homestead ruin near Morrin Bridge.  The floodplain above the river was baking in the midday heat.


Our last camp along the river.


Diana’s parents, Norman and Geraldine, picked us up in Drumheller at the end of our run.

Exshaw Ridge and the Red Deer River