Andy Good Peak and Mount Coulthard

July 9, 2008

Mountain height: 
            Andy Good                  2662 m
            Coulthard                    2634 m

Elevation gain:          
            To Andy Good             640 m
            Traverse to Coulthard 240 loss, 210 gain

Ascent time:              
            To Andy Good             5:05
            Traverse to Coulthard 2:00

Descent time:                          2:15

Solo scramble.

Inspired by Bob Spirko’s trips and those of the Southern Scramblers into this area of Crowsnest, I set out to see which of the peaks could be scrambled up, via North York Creek. The plan for day 1 was to gain the col between Andy Good and Parrish and attempt both mountains. Gaining the col was not terribly difficult, however, crampons were mandatory to ascend the hard snow.

From the col things didn’t look promising in either direction. The south ridge of Parrish looked to be far too steep and the north ridge of Andy Good a mess of near vertical pinnacles. I opted to try Parrish first, but was forced to back down when I reached steep, slabby terrain that was not in the realm of scrambling.

Returning to the col I was able to scramble up the north ridge of Andy Good by circumventing the pinnacle on the right side, then ascending slabs to the ridge and then following the ridge to the summit. Right before the summit the ridge narrowed to an alarming degree. Fortunately, there was a route around the narrowing, though a somewhat exposed route. The summit vista was very impressive, highlighted by great views of Coulthard, Parrish, Chinook, Ptolemy and McGladrey.

With time and energy levels still on my side, I decided to see if it was possible to descend the north ridge of Andy Good and traverse the ridge to Coulthard. Descending the ridge was easy. The traverse was not. It was replete with exposed scrambling on very interesting terrain. Good thing I brought along my approach shoes – excellent for slabby terrain.

There appeared to be easy routes to the three summits of Coulthard, however, I wanted to see if the southwest ridge would go. It did, but again on exposed slabby terrain, where approach shoes were a must. Traversing the remaining summits to the true summit (the furthest east) was quick and easy. The descent down scree and grassy slopes was also very easy and stress-free - a nice way to end a productive day.

Three ATV'ers on the approach trail; they were very friendly and showed me a slightly quicker approach trail

Looking to the Andy Good/Parrish col; Parrish at the right

Andy Good Peak, as seen from the south ridge of Mount Parrish

The steep slopes of the south ridge that I was not able to ascend

Chinook Peak (in shadow) and Mount Parish; Tecumseh and Crowsnest are visible in the background

The three summits of Mount Coulthard, as seen from the summit of Andy Good

A partial panorama to the south; McGladrey in the middle and Ptolemy at the right

Mount McGladrey

The ridge to Coulthard

Same as above

On the ridge between Andy Good and Coulthard

Same as above

Cool rock on the ridge

The southwest ridge of Coulthard; the route follows the right skyline and then moves into the middle of the face

The upper section of the southwest ridge

The second and true summits of Coulthard

A northern outlier

Parrish (foreground) and Chinook, as seen from Coulthard's summit

The easy descent route

The tail-end of the plane that crashed in the area in 1946