Crowsnest mountain is a popular peak near Crowsnest Pass which stands out like a sore thumb. Not only is it shaped like a wedding cake but it's a peak which thrusts itself up in the middle of nowhere... at least when viewed from the south.

As you can imagine, this feature alone makes it a popular objective amongst the locals and scramblers. It's almost like the Ha Ling of Crowsnest Pass where all the locals have probably attempted it at least once.

When combined with the RV's and ATV tracks which scatter the area, Crowsnest mountain can be quite the zoo on a sunny weekend... and it sure was!


My partners for the day were Makoto and Emi who just arrived from Japan 4 days prior to our scramble.

After leaving Calgary at a leisurely 10am, we arrived at the packed trailhead at 1pm. We weren't too worried about daylight but the temperature must have been in the low 30's.

Partway along the trail, we bumped into a small group who were just returning from the summit. One of the members quickly looked us over and told us that we probably wouldn't make the summit because it was very difficult.

I was kind of appreciative of his concerns but he obviously didn't know that my partners were experienced climbers who spent many summers working for Yamnuska as ACMG hiking guides.


Here we are at the end of the packed trail. Our objective was a small break in the rockband at the top of the large snow patch.

I was using a new pair of Sportiva Trango S's so I decided to kick step up the snow while my partners stuck to the loose and ugly scree.


Here's a picture of the Seven Sisters as seen from the top of the scree slope.


After a short scramble up some ledges, we continued onwards towards the prominent gully above. A large waterfall loomed above us as we marched upwards.

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Here we are at the base of the gully. It wasn't too steep and the left wall provided some solid handholds to avoid the loose scree in the middle.

The upper section of the gully had a chain bolted to the right wall but I didn't find it necessary.

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After exiting the gully, we continued along a beaten path in the scree to the summit.

The Seven Sisters dominate the view from above.

Little did I know that an acquaintance of mine, Rick Collier was attempting the highest tower this same day. He eventually retreated about 200' from the summit but I'm sure he'll be back soon. (Wow! How rare is it to find a peak which he hasn't summitted yet?!)


Here's a look towards the east. The towns of Coleman and Blairmore along with Turtle mountain (dead center) can be seen in the near distance.

Definitely one of the better summits as far as scenery is concerned.


Here's a highly zoomed picture towards the east. The white sticks are actually windmills near Pincher Creek.


Here's a critter we came across on the way down.

We eventually passed below it when Makoto yelled, "Rock!". Surprisingly, the mountain goat and its friends managed to knock down a cluster of rocks which nearly hit us.

I looked up and I could have sworn that I saw at least one of them smile at us. Those cocky little bastards! :)


Finally, here's a picture of Makoto and Emi admiring the waterfall on the way down.

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