We parked Mick's CRV at the Ribbon Creek parking lot in Kananaskis Country, and piled everyone and everything into Mark's CRV, then drove to the other end of the trail, at Deadman's Flats (near Canmore).
We followed the broad trail for a few kilometers, and missed the trail that apparently leads up Collembola (Mick says he saw it, but everyone else missed it!). We came out of the trees into a nice upsloping meadow and gulley. Mick decided to go up the gulley, and the rest of us walked up the meadow toward the upper ridge of Mt. Collembola.
We all met up again at the small rockband a few hundred meters along the ridge, had a break, ate and drank, practiced my resectioning "technique" and carried on along the ridge. We encountered a pile of big square rocks that begged to have people stand on them while having their pictures taken. We obliged.
As we approached the cliff-band a bit further along, Mick started having misgivings, and ended up turning back after we tried to convince him to go further. He made the right decision -- the scrambling up the rock bands to the left of the cliff would have been a bit too "interesting" for him.
Kevin, Mark and I scrambled up to the top of the cliff, and carried on along the ridge, having been egged on by Mick stating that he was sure he'd make it back to the car on his end before we got back to the car at our end. Turns out he was completely right. We would have had to run the rest of the way to beat him!
Leaving the summit of Collembola, we saw the next bump along the ridge and started to pick out routes through the rocks bands it presented. Perhaps there is an easier route along the left (skiers left), but we felt that not sticking to the ridge was a mild form of cheating, so we went more or less straight up. The climbing was pretty good, with some hand/foot-holds that didn't want to pop right out.
From the top of the last bump, we got a good view of the imposing scree slope we'd have to trudge up to get to the summit of Mt. Allan. It looked exhausting, and proved to be just that.
I met a couple of ladies at the summit and chatted them up while waiting for Mark. One of them was from Tasmania; as far as I know, the first Tasmanian I'd ever met!
Once Kevin finished slogging up the scree, we set our sights on the descent ridge leading back to Mark's CRV at Ribbon Creek. Only 1400 meters of vertical to go, and all of it downhill... I could feel my knees start to ache just thinking about it, so I popped a couple Vitamin I's and off we went.
We went through the pinnacles, then down to Olympic Ridge where there are still parts of the 1988 Olympics chairlift strewn about (orange pogo-stick looking things), and a couple weather stations. The last thousand or so switchbacks finally started to wear on Kevin, but, realizing he had no options other than to keep going, he did.
We got back to the car about 11 hours after we started this little hike, drove back to Deadman's Flats to switch out people and vehicles, and got home well after the sun had gone down. Good thing we "all" had headlamps -- if we'd taken much longer, we'd have needed them!