Elevation: 2240 m
Elevation Gain: 900 m
Although this peak is officially named Mount John Laurie after the prominent Calgary educator and Native causes activist, the native name “Yamnuska” is used almost exclusively to describe it. The native term, which describes the peak perfectly means “wall of rock.” This massive wall of rock, one of the first peaks seen while driving west from Calgary on the Trans-Canada highway, was formed by the McConnell thrust. This geologic event thrust the older Cambrian limestone, of which the cliffs are composed, over the younger sandstones which make up the lower forested slopes.
My Ascents:
June 21 2011, July 4 2010, June 28 2008

With the summer scrambling season in full swing, I had been bugging Brianne to join me for a scramble for some time. Finally on June 21, our scheduled days off aligned (actually, all of my days are currently “off”!), and we headed out to Yamnuska to teach her how to scree ski!

Yamnuska's impressive crown of rock.

Cute helmet. More necessary due to the number of other people on the route than due to the terrain.

Making her way up through the keyhole into the fun stuff!

Photo op or catching her breath?...only Brianne knows for certain.

Epic cliff.

Wondering what she's gotten herself into at the crux.

The fun part.

Posing with “her” green valley.

Scrambling along.


Another group arrives at the crux fun part.


Enjoying the first day of summer on her first summit of the year.

Summit rodent. He was not shy.

Showing off her entry in the summit register.

Doorjamb Mountain and Loder Peak in the foreground, Mount Lougheed on the other side of the Bow Valley.

The prominent Mounts Bogart and Sparrowhawk behind Mount Lougheed.

Snowier peaks in K-Country.

Green valleys to the north.

Summit couple shot.

A long way down...

High above the prairies.

Look at all those suckers at work!

Summit panorama. Click to see larger.

Prairie and more remote ranges to the north.

Getting the hang of this downhill scree-ing business.

At the base of the rock wall: where the REAL fun starts!

Testing out her brakes.

Screeching to a halt.

Yep. She runs like a girl.

And down!

Helmet hair.

Cooling off under (ok, to the side of) a waterfall.