Winter Walk Mount McNabb

We went back to the Sheep a few days ago. We decided that, conditions wise,  this was actually the best time to walk up Mount McNabb and make a loop with Price Camp trail because 1. The Sheep River is frozen. 2. Should be able to get onto the top of the first step via  snow-free, south-facing meadows from Coal Creek. 3. The mud of Mount McNabb and Price Camp trails on the north side of the ridge should  be frozen.

The normal route goes straight up the ridge from Price Camp trail. There’s a trail to follow in summer that has a couple of  steep sections. Walking up frozen Coal Creek seemed a good winter alternative. In reality it takes time getting around downed trees and the ice was so fragile it was like walking on eggshells. I escaped with just one wet foot. (Should have done it a couple of weeks earlier we said.) It was a relief to take to the meadows and climb to the top of the first step. From there on the east ridge is treed for the most part with three more steps. On this day the forest was dry so the going was easy all the way to the summit cairn. Which, by the way, offers no view.

Most people turn around here and go back the same way, which is a pity when  a great view can be had from the lower summit to the west. Admittedly, you have to move around a bit  to get the full panorama from Mount Glasgow in the north to Mount Head in the south. But if you’ve got here, then it’s an easy enough forest walk to intersect Mount McNabb trail at the pass at GR714121. The problem is hitting it square on. If in doubt head a little south and walk up the trail.

As hoped, the winding trail down the north slope was snow-covered. Didn’t look as though anyone had snowshoed it; the tracks were all animal tracks we thought. Price Camp, however,  was mostly snow-packed and offered a fast, boring walk back to the Sheep River crossing. When we were last here two weeks ago, a good 6 inches of snow lay atop the ice. Now it was just one long ribbon of smooth green ice more suitable for skating. Of course, this was before the temps reached 15 degrees.

Distance about 10 km

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Heading up Coal Creek.

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Climbing up the meadows between Coal Creek and the first step. Second step in the background.

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Nearing the top of the third step.

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Summit of Mount McNabb.

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Mount McNabb from the lower summit.

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Looking NW from the lower summit. Peaks of the Highwood Range. Green Mountain (Spaulding Point) near right.

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Crossing the Sheep River. Coal Creek centre, Price Camp trail to right. Behind is east ridge of Mount McNabb.

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