Crowsnest Mountain stands as a solitary symbol of the entire Crowsnest Pass area in southwestern Alberta. It is a hike/scramble that no self-respecting hiker can ignore. Standing alone with only the Seven Sisters as a wing, it's another of those "I gotta climb that one" types.
The trail starts at the parking area just off the Alison Creek road. Turn south along a cut line for about 100m and turn left, uphill, along a signed trail. This trail is fairly steep, then gets steeper. At the tree line, the inevitable scree begins. Follow any of the trails straight up to the first headwall, where you will pick your way up to the left (you can also go right but it is longer). Your objective is the next headwall. After gaining the headwall, through more scree, traverse right to an obvious gully in the wall and continue up even more scree. (See a pattern emerging here?). At the top of this gully lies the crux of the climb. A chain is fixed to the rock at this point to aid in ascent but is mostly for descent. Above the chain is a narrow chute about 4-5m high which is easily ascended (more difficult descending). The rest of the way is a moderate scree ascent to the top. Here you are rewarded with spectacular views of the entire Crowsnest Pass and mountains into BC.
Unfortunately, this time we got turned back by ice, so summit photos will have to wait till next year.
UPDATE 2007 - finally made it to the summit, perfect day, 10 years since my first attempt.
Photos by Brian Coffey, Shelley Coffey and Trevor Helwig
Note: This is a scramble. Be aware that scrambling can injure or kill you. Be prepared, know your limits and make sure somebody knows where you're going.
NTS Map: 082G10 Elevation Gain: 1100 m (3,609 ft).
Drive 10.5km north of Hwy 3 on the Alison Creek road (keep right at fork), find parking area on east side of road. Time and distance shown are one way.
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Posted By: p_andy
- Fri Jul 13 14:06:27 EDT 2012
UpsideChallenging, and very rewarding We did this route last weekend, and conditions are good minimal ice
DownsideTons of loose rock, we encountered some serious rock fall(goats), so I would recommend helmets for the scramble :)
Posted By: JamesLamb
- Fri Aug 26 13:30:53 EDT 2011
QuestionHi. It doesn't sound like it, but I am wondering if the scramble up Crowsnest Mountain is something I could take my dog on?ANSWERS are in this forum: Hiking Crowsnest Mountain
Posted By: jennmack
- Sat Jul 02 10:49:13 EDT 2011
QuestionHas anyone hiked up Crowsnest Mountain this year yet? I was just wondering if there would be a ton of snow left on the trail?
Thanks!ANSWERS are in this forum: Crowsnest Mountain Hike
Posted By: austinpm
- Sun Aug 23 13:53:14 EDT 2009
UpsideIncredible views, wildlife viewing (I saw a healthy mountain goat), great workout.
DownsideLoose scree, falling rocks, tough chimney chute nearer to summit (chain assists only for roughly 30 feet).
CommentI started out solo, ended up meeting a group of 5 young scouts and their 2 scout leaders. Together we all made the summit, proud of all them kids for doing this!
Posted By: theshadowgod
- Tue May 13 18:34:41 EDT 2008
UpsideAmazing views. Very quick decent down the scree but be carful large areas of scree will move while decending.