Northeast End of the Northeast End of Loaf Mountain
height: approximately 1940 m
Elevation gain: approximately 400m
approximately 3.5 hours
in the title. This was simply a quick trip up the small hill that represents
the first highpoint of Loaf Mountain’s northeast end, as opposed to the northeast summit,
northwest of the east hill, which I reached many years ago. Confused yet? I am!
around The Castle area in brutal winds on the last day of 2018, I needed
something quick and easy that would potentially be sheltered from the strong
winds that had been pounding all quadrants of the Rockies for the past 2 weeks.
The far northeast end of Loaf Mountain fit the bill perfectly. I was also to find
out later in the day that Dave McMurray had appropriately nicknamed this hill,
“The Muffin”, so let’s go with that!
from the trailhead on the south side of Loaf Mountain, hiked to a point just
before the first drainage and then went straight up, following an animal track
in the snow. Of course, at one point, I was distracted by a random chunk of
colourful rock near the drainage and had to check it out. Nothing much to
report, except your classic, amazing, Castle rock band with a frozen waterfall
running alongside it – wonderful!
rock band, the ascent to the top of The Muffin was straightforward, though
longer than expected. For the east end of the east end of a front range peak,
views were pretty darn good! Drywood and Roche garnered most of my attention,
but the ridge heading west on Loaf itself got the rest of it.
ascended this ridge for a short distance, up to the next highpoint, tolerating
the viciously cold conditions for as long as possible. Continuing beyond that
would have required an earlier start and a wind chill that didn’t feel like
a liquid nitrogen bath!
descent and that’s all she wrote!