Zenfolio | Calvin Damen | Unnamed Ridge North of Commonwealth Peak (unofficially called "Pig's Back"), September 21, 2014
Visitors 68
Modified 22-Sep-14
Created 22-Sep-14
19 photos

I love this view from the Smith-Dorrien Highway. The ridge I went up is the rounded hump between Commonwealth Peak and Mount Birdwood.The deadfall in Commonwealth Lake looked interesting where it poked above the surface.Commonwealth Lake is small, but beautiful and is one of the quieter destinations in Kananaskis. "Pig's Back" can be seen behind the trees on the right.This tree also caught my attention on the way past the lake.Larches were nearly at their prime on this trip. The strange piles of rubble are from the extreme flooding in 2013.The smooth cliff in the background really made the amazing color of these  Larches "pop."When I was almost above tree line I saw this young Grizzly Bear busy digging maybe 100 feet away. It didn't notice me and I nervously retreated back to the valley making lots of noise as I went!This is a more comprehensive view of the area where I spotted the bear. Commonwealth Peak towers in the background.Just before I took this shot of the bear on another ridge, it actually appeared in the valley I retreated to. I climbed up on a huge boulder to get the upper hand if it attacked. Luckily it didn't!Mount Smuts and the Fist look great with the late day lighting, blue sky, and fall colors.This was the first chockstone I have ever seen. I think it was only a few feet across.Mount Chester was one of my very first summits and I did multiple trips to the top over the years. The time it was covered in snow was the most memorable and dangerous!Mount Smuts with Smuts Pass below it on the left. The area beyond the pass is home to my favorite spot of all, "Sepia Ridge."Commonwealth Peak dwarfs the stand of Larches below it.The western cliffs between the two summit cairns seem to be peeling away.This is my favorite view of the day. I love September in the Rockies!Commonwealth Lake is very sheltered and probably this calm much of the time.One last look at the unreal green color of Commonwealth Lake with the Peak of the same name in the distance.This was the final creek crossing on the way back and was knee deep in places. It was also painfully cold!