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Cascade Mountain (2998 m)

I did Cascade Mountain on September 6th, 1998. After Mount Burgess, it was my second serious Rockies' scramble. My Dad took me up. It was his 4th ascent. It was a great day, but we were quite late in starting. I was 12 at the time, and I matched Dad to the top which made me quite happy. Cascade is the obvious mountain on which Banff main avenue is centered. It you look from the end of the street, Cascade is centered perfectly. This is a winter picture of Cascade from Banff townsite. You can pick out the ascent route along the left skyline, as well as the false summit. It is about 1325 meters of elevation gain over about 20 km round trip. My Dad and I were 4.5 hours up and 2.5 hours down, with a whole 7 minute long summit break because we were running out of time.

After a so-so morning weatherwise, we headed off from the Norquay parking lot at about 1:15. It's a bummer that you have to descend down to 40 mile creek before beginning to ascend. An interesting note is that Banff gets its water from this creek and not the Bow River. After this you commence the 7 km trek to the Cascade Amphitheatre. Once you reach the amphitheatre you immediately cut out of the trees to the right and up to this point. The ascent route follows the skyline ridge in the background.

Now you can clearly see the ascent route. This is from on the ridge looking at the remainder of it. I outlined the trail in red. You can see how the false summit looks just like a bump in the ridge. I think the best choice would be to contour around it rather than go right over it. That's what we did. From there it is about 30 minutes to the summit.

On top. This is a neat picture that my Dad took as I came over the top of the summit. Assiniboine definitely dominates the horizon. We were on the summit at 5:30, and as we left it was beginning to darken. As we were going down the false summit, we saw 2 teenagers going for the top. It was soon dark, and we never found out how they got down. We were at the bottom at 8:15. Of note was a trailrunner that zoomed past us on the way up to the amphitheatre. He sure was moving, but interestingly enough he only got to the summit 30 minutes before us.

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