Bow Peak December 30, 2006        

Mountain height:           2868 m
Elevation gain:               900 m
Ascent time:                  5:15
Descent time:                3:45

Ski mountaineering with Mark.

This peak caught our attention after seeing Sonny Bou’s summer trip report from 2003. More recently, however, Raff, Kevin, Jason, JP, and Mike had completed ascents on skis and given our need to improve our AT skills, this seemed to be a good choice. 

Our timing for arriving at the parking lot was fortuitous to say the least. A party of three was just about to leave for Crowfoot Pass and we told them we were going to attempt Bow Peak. Not only did they offer us directions to the Pass, but also broke trail the entire way there. Following their tracks made easy work of the scenic ascent.

We arrived at the more than pleasant viewpoint of Crowfoot Pass in 3 hours, ditched our skis, and started up the foreshortened  northwest slope of Bow Peak. The party of three was just ahead and we wanted to thank them for breaking trail. Apparently they liked the idea of attaining the summit of Bow Peak and informed us of their decision to attempt it, when we caught up to them. Mark and I were more than happy to follow their footsteps all the way up to the ridge.

The view really started to open up as we gained elevation. Even in less than perfect weather conditions, the surrounding mountains were impressive. Also impressive was the strong west wind that greeted us upon gaining the ridge. Though not as fierce as the wind and blowing snow I encountered a day earlier on Mount Allan, this wind was infinitely colder and trying the stay warm quickly became the focus for the remainder of the ascent – a battle we lost hands-down.

Except for the aforementioned wind, the north ridge traverse to the summit was very enjoyable. We soon met up with the other party. They had visited the summit and were making a very rapid descent in order to escape the brutally cold conditions. We soon arrived at the summit, stayed there for just enough time to take in the incredible panorama and then high-tailed it down.

Getting back to the skis was very fast and easy. The first part of the ski down was decent, but yet again, steeper terrain proved to be more problematic. Without going into the gruesome details, let’s just say our ski run down was comically depressing – or perhaps depressingly comical would be more accurate.      

Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable trip with enough changing scenery to keep things interesting and a breath-taking summit view – a more than satisfying way to end 2006.


Crowfoot Mountain before sunrise


Bow Peak


More of Crowfoot Mountain and its hanging glacier



A closer look at Crowfoot


Mark gains the slopes below Crowfoot Mountain


Skiing towards the Pass


Same as above, with Bow Peak sticking up on the left


Dolomite Peak to the east


The full length of Dolomite Peak


Approaching Crowfoot Pass, with Bow Peak dead ahead


Getting closer


The view to the south from Crowfoot Pass


Starting up the slopes of Bow Peak, with Crowfoot Mountain behind


Slogging up the west slopes


Mark on the ridge


The start of the ridge


Same as above


More ridge


The final section of the severely cold traverse to the summit


The summit cairn and Mount Hector to the right


At the summit looking south; Hector Lake to the right and Mount Hector to the left



Mount Willingdon to the east


On descent


The moon over Noseeum Mountain


  Noseeum Mountain