Mount Howard
On 12 November 2007, Bob Spirko and I made a valiant attempt at scrambling up Mount Howard in Alberta's Kananaskis Country via the route described by Andrew Nugara in More Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies.  Unfortunately, the weather was not particularly cooperative with a howling wind making walking difficult even along the flats of Upper Canyon Creek.  Hoping to stay sheltered from the wind for as long as possible, we opted to ascend a drainage just east of Mount Howard's north ridge.  This turned out to be a feasible alternative to Nugara's route, but when we inevitably had to climb back onto the ridge, the ferocious wind threatened to blast us off our feet with every step we took.  I found it difficult to stand up, let alone walk in that gale, and it did not take long before Bob and I decided to abandon our attempt at the summit.  We hastily retreated back down the drainage and out Upper Canyon Creek with intentions to return in calmer weather.

Be sure to check out Bob's trip report of our failed attempt here.
Best view of the day...sadly! The morning sky is strikingly colourful.
We should have just called it a day after these photos! The sky appears to be on fire!
I don't feel so good... Bob hikes into the teeth of the wind blowing through Upper Canyon Creek.  The start of Mount Howard's north ridge is straight ahead.
While Bob would return less than a year later to complete the ascent, I put Mount Howard on the back burner indefinitely for various reasons, not the least of which was having to endure another soul-sucking slog along Upper Canyon Creek.  Over the subsequent years, I occasionally toyed with the idea of returning but was always distracted by the lure of more attractive peaks elsewhere.  When I finally decided to revisit Mount Howard on 22 July 2012, I was coming off one of my longest peak-bagging droughts in recent years (the reasons for this extend beyond the scope of this trip report, but it might be worth discussing at a local pub on a "wing nite"!).

The crux of the trip was tearing myself away from the television after watching Adam Scott's improbable collapse at the Open Championship (golf).  With the beautiful weather that day, it was not surprising that the roads in K-Country were heavily congested.  Popular picnic sites like Allen Bill Pond and Elbow Falls were absolute zoos--so much for the "wilderness experience"!  Nevertheless, once I started hiking along Upper Canyon Creek, I did not see another soul for the rest of the day.  The 5-kilometre approach before the actual climbing begins felt just as painfully long as before, but at least I was not fighting gale-force winds this time.  I took to Nugara's access ridge and bypassed all the minor high points en route to the summit of Mount Howard.  This entailed much side-hill bashing which did not agree well with my weak ankles, but thankfully, some beaten paths in the scree helped alleviate some of the constant stumbling.  The fun scrambling on the final summit block was sadly short-lived, and I was also a tad disappointed that the summit views were marred by some late day cloud cover.  I could not even record my displeasure in the summit register since it was either missing or very well-hidden.  I spent less than half an hour on the summit before commencing my descent.  After partly retracing my steps, I dropped down into the drainage that Bob and I had previously hiked and followed it back to Upper Canyon Creek.  From there, my hike back to my car was even more painfully long but otherwise uneventful.
Wish I had brought my bicycle... Sonny hikes along Upper Canyon Creek with much more pleasant weather.
It's already a long walk just to get this far. The north ridge of Mount Howard comes into view. ankles are aching already! Some impressive cliffs guard the south side of Mount Bryant.
Lotsa side-hill bashing to come if you're lazy like me! The summit of Mount Howard appears on the horizon.
The angle of the slope wasn't doing my aching ankles any favours! Sonny cuts across a slope to avoid needless elevation gain.
For much of the ascent, I thought this was merely another false summit. Here is a closer look at the summit block of Mount Howard.
This is roughly as far as I got on my first attempt. After much side-hill bashing, the summit does not appear any closer.
Nice to walk on the crest of the ridge again albeit only briefly! Much of Mount Howard's north ridge can be traced here all the way back to Upper Canyon Creek.
If you look closely, you can even spot a small pinnacle on the upper col. From here, there is one more high point (upper right) to bypass before the summit block.
I couldn't find a summit register. Clouds have unfortunately rolled into the area by the time that Sonny arrives at Mount Howard's 2783-metre summit.
Where did all these freakin' clouds come from?? A sea of peaks stretch out to the west.
Betcha the Lookout was a zoo on this day! Moose Mountain is still awash in sunshine to the northeast.
I wonder how many of these summits saw visitors on this day... The southern view includes such familiar "Kane" peaks as Mount Fullerton, Mount Glasgow,  Mount Remus, and Mount Romulus.
Hard to believe it has been almost 9 years since I stood on Fisher Peak's summit. Fisher Peak dominates the view to the southwest.
I first noticed these odd plants while climbing Piggy Plus in 2009. Nodding cockles (Silene uralensis) such as this one are seemingly abundant in the area.
I still have another 2.5 hours of stumbling back to the car from here...ugh. Compression Ridge exhibits some interesting hues late in the day.  Sonny's exit drainage is visible at bottom left.
Slog with a capital "S"!

Total Distance:  23.0 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  8 hours 49 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  1091 metres