Mount Crandell July 13, 2004

Mountain height:    2,378 m (7,802 feet)
Elevation gain:       1,040 m
Ascent time:          
3:45
Descent time:         1:40

Solo scramble.

Mount Crandell is a pretty terrific scramble…..I think?? If I had had someone there to share in my misery, I might have really enjoyed it. Some route-finding problems had me in fits one second and in a panic the next – on both ascent and descent.

I took the moderate-rated route up Tick Ridge (I’ll save the difficult one up Bear’s Hump for when I have someone there to catch me when I fall!). At the beginning, I stayed over to the right side of the ridge, going through steep forest. In retrospect, in order to eliminate some annoying bushwhacking, the left side, right near the edge, might have been preferable.

At the top of Tick Ridge, I looked at the next section and was horrified to see an exposed row of rock pinnacles that looked quite terrifying. Fortunately, Kane also describes a nice “chicken” route, along the base of the pinnacles and that’s the one I took. This is where I encountered my first difficulties of the day. I basically traversed all the way to the end and when it came time to regain the ridge, I simply couldn’t find an easy (or moderate) way up. I tried route after route and was stymied each time by steep, exposed terrain. I spent about 45 minutes going up a little and then back down before I found a manageable route up. Once on the ridge, the remainder of the route was relatively easy, although, again, I did have to back-track a couple of times to find easier paths.

The summit view was quite respectable, however, after my marathon day yesterday and today’s difficulties I was both physically and mentally fried and was simply looking forward to an easy descent, down the alternate route in Kane’s book. Well…it started off easy anyway! I still don’t if I found the suggested route down, but I was all over the place. I tried the far left side, came to an impasse, climbed back up, traversed steep terrain to the right and after 20 minutes of wandering back and forth, found a decent route down to the streambed, where I had to boulder hop for another 20 minutes out to the road. My plan to do another scramble later in the day was well out the window, at this point, and I went straight home.

Even with the problems, the scramble had some nice climbing sections on pretty solid rock and the terrain throughout was very interesting. I’m sure I’ll return to do the more difficult route…someday!

Mount Crandell, as seen from the town campground

 

The Tick Ridge ascent route

 

Looking down at the Waterton Lakes

 

The more exposed section of the ridge; the easy (?) ascent route goes along the left side of the ridge

 

Passed the tricky part, looking at the summit, at the right

 

At the summit

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