Crowsnest Mountain July 2, 2004

Mountain height:       2,785 m (9,137 ft)
Elevation gain:           1,100 m
Ascent time:             
Descent time:         

Scrambling with Mark.

Crowsnest Mountain has a great deal to offer: a short approach (a short scramble for that matter!), a well-used trail that takes you from bottom to top, fantastic scenery on ascent, interesting scrambling up a gully, and a pretty decent summit view.

To avoid the afternoon heat and predicted thunderstorms, we left Calgary at 5:30 am and after the 3.5 hour drive, started the scramble at 9:00 am . A brisk 30-40 minute hike, through forest, took us above the treeline, where the scenery really opened up. Most interesting was a terrific look at craggy Seven Sisters. The view of this interestingly shaped mountain became increasingly more stunning as we ascended, keeping our cameras clicking.

The first rockband was easily ascended and at the top stood some fantastic pinnacles and rock formations. From there, we followed the trail to a scree filled gully leading to the top of the second rockband. The gully narrowed and steepened towards the top and there was a chain bolted to the rock to assist you up a steeper section. Scrambling up the down-sloping rock would have been relatively easy without the chain, however, going down would be a different story and with the rock in its present wet condition, I was glad the chain was there for descent.  

The remainder of the ascent was easy and only took about 35 minutes, not the full hour suggested by the sign at the top of the gully. As expected, the view of Seven Sisters form the top was spectacular. The rest of the summit view was also very pleasant, although lacking a topographic map of the area, I was only able to identify other scrambles from Kane’s book.

The descent was easy and the chain was, in fact, extremely helpful for getting down the steep section. We took an alternate route down, where there were even more breath-taking rock formations, with incredible colours.

Upon reaching the car, we continued along Allison Creek Road , with the hope of knocking off Mount Ward . Unfortunately, the predicted afternoon thunderstorms rolled in and it started to rain quite heavily. We waited for 45 minutes, but the clouds only got thicker, the rain heavier and so we went home. Overall, a fantastic day on a fantastic mountain.   

Crowsnest Mountain, as seen from Allison Road


Approaching the start of the scrambling


Atop the first rockband, with the extremely photogenic Seven Sisters behind


Interesting colours on rockbands along the way

Another great view of The Seven Sisters


Mark and The Seven Sisters


At the summit


Exploring other parts of the mountain on descent


Great rock formations and pinnacles


More terrific rock scenery

OTHER TRIPS