Read's Tower

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Read's Tower
  • Location: Kananaskis Country (Highway 742)
  • Activity: Scrambling
  • Height: 2,663 m (8,737 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 920 m (3,019 ft)
  • Distance: 6.8 km / Round Trip (4.2 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 15.1°
  • Estimated Time: 3-6 hrs
  • Technicality: Intermediate
  • Fitness Level: Moderate
It has been a while since I had WOW moments. I have to since Mount Niles in October… Ok ok it’s only a month but for me, that means 10 scrambles. Weather forecast was pretty good beside -20 °C. So I thought I will do something short and have fun with sunny periods. I had more than fun from this one.

I parked side of road as the gate of Sparrowhawk parking was closed for winter. The trail was pretty much covered with snow from beginning however at lower part it was still easy to see where the trail was. At one point trees opened up and I had to go up rocky part that was where I lost trail and went my own way. However I wasn’t too far away from trail. I just didn’t brother to look. If you follow my GPS track in summer time, you will see I was off-trail for a while until ridge top where trees thin out. Until GR201441 route is the same as Sparrowhawk’s ascent. While you go up drainage beside Read’s cliff to Sparrow, for Read’s Tower you get on Read’s ascent slope (page 5). Then simply follow the slope to the summit. No difficulty what so ever.

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Read's Tower looked much closer than I remembered.

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I started late hoping temperature warms up little but still it was near -20. However NO WIND!

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Beautiful fresh white!

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To Sparrow go left and follow drainage.

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Twice that day low cloud formed for short time.

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Such a beautiful day it was.

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Someone told me once that higher altitude can be warmer than lower altitude in some occasions in winter. I have never experience this phenomenon until this day. -20 at where I parked my car. I don't know how warm it was at the summit because my thermometer was broken, but judging by how long I could sit still at summit, I say around 0 to -5.

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As much as I hate dealing with cold or breaking trail, I have to say WINTER IS BACK!! HELL YEAH!! Lover snow covered mountains.

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Always nice to see Sparrow's snow slope. It's pretty.

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I thought there would be more snow but it wasn't much snow. In average one foot at higher elevation.

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Second time when cloud occupied low altitude. I was right at the cloud line at that time. I had to get back up to stay up higher than cloud.

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Day like this reminds me no matter what weather forecast says, go mountains. Never know what you come across.


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