Door-Jamb Mountain is a precursor en route to the summit of Loder Peak in Bow Valley, Kananaskis Country, Alberta.
A much-needed, new parking area, with washrooms, is nearing completion on the north side of Highway 1A east of Exshaw, across from the Graymont Lime Plant, and between Jura Creek and the base of Door-Jamb Mountain.
Door-Jamb Mountain is a rugged hill with plenty of braided trail options sporting sharp rock potentially capable of destroying hiking gear, clothing and exposed body parts.
This little mountain is first in the chain north from Highway 1A sweeping north and east across Loder Peak, Goat Mountain and Yamnuska (Mount Laurie). The entire route contains scrambling components beyond hiking.
The primary intent for this day is to locate a cave in Jura Creek Canyon but parking in close proximity to Door-Jamb Mountain motivates a quick investigation since I may well be the last human being on the planet who has never set foot on this southern outlier of 2,088 m (6,850 ft) Loder Peak.
Mood enhancing Spring wildflowers are prolific within surrounding grassland and forest terrain.
Loder Peak behind new parking and washroom with Door-Jamb Mountain in-between.
This day's potentially short, primary objective will attempt to locate a small cave in Jura Creek Canyon between Door-Jamb Mountain and Exshaw Mountain, so there is plenty of time to investigate the immediate area. Trail entrance to Door-Jamb Mountain consists of multiple opportunities around the south and west base of the very shallow mountain.
Each trail leads to a frustrating array of trail braids winding their way up multiple ascent routes on busy terrain littered with particularly obnoxious rock well-suited for the destruction of expensive hiking gear. Caution is always sensible.
Route finding, combined with fairly gentle elevation gain, rapidly reveals expansive vistas across the Bow Valley Corridor to familiar and distinctive mountains which provide a rush of memorable moments from past hiking missions.
The distinctive shapes of Heart Mountain and Pigeon Mountain bracket massive Mount McGilivray along the south edge of the Bow Valley Corridor. In near distance, the Graymont Lime Plant, the Bow River complex and the Jura Creek water course dominate the expansive views.
The white stone framing Jura Creek shows adjacent development resulting from the 2013 major flooding event along the east base of Exshaw Mountain.
Door-Jamb Mountain provides sufficient loft for spectacular vistas across the Bow Valley. Notice the change in initially clear sky as cloud rapidly forms up and begins to saturate the far horizon above the mountains. This rapid cloud build-up has the potential to substantially change the nature of the day.
No attempt is made to continue gaining elevation to the summit of Loder Peak. The scramble route north past the fault along Jura Creek seems like a more sensible approach to the summit of Loder Mountain. Many people choose to do the Door-Jamb Mountain, Loder Peak, down scramble to Jura Creek and return to parking via Jura Creek. Consult your hiking map and guide.
The descent from Door-Jamb Mountain is cautious with some level of relief when flat, dirt trail through peripheral forest once again intersects with a matrix of old roads and trails near the new parking area.
Nearly any trail or old road tending west and north will eventually arrive at the fortified border of Jura Creek. Arrival at the entrance to Jura Creek Canyon is obvious on the hike along the banks of Jura Creek.
This brief excursion onto Door-Jamb Mountain occurs on Monday, June 17, 2019.