Mount Blakiston is the highest point in Waterton National Park and a great scramble.
Follow the trail to Lineham Falls in Waterton Lakes National Park. At the first sight of the waterfalls (after ~ 1hr+ of hiking at a moderate pace) turn right up the drainage, following the faint path that appears to the right of the streambed. Initially the route ascends a fairly easy scee slope, but after 45 minutes or so the route upwards becomes a mix of class III ledges and scree. Keep following the gully up (I stayed to the right of the gully for the ascent; the rock seemed a bit more solid). Some daunting cliff walls appear near the top (class III and IV pitches here).
[The cliff bands can be avoided by traversing over to the left and trudging up a more moderate, rubble covered slope to the ridge (see note 1 below).]
There is a couloir described by Kane in his book 'Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies' that sounds like the safest bet, however the most obvious couloir I could find in the cliff wall had some large icicles, so to get to the summit I traversed to the left of Kane's suggested route and had to ascend a short length of class IV for 15 ft or so. On the way down, I followed the tracks of some other hikers who had taken a slightly different route than me; I tried to avoid any difficult scrambling on the way up, although their route was about the same difficulty as my ascent).
It took me about 3.5 hours to get to the summit at a moderate pace, with the snow and ice near the top serving as both a help and a hindrance (it was easier to climb up the snow near the top on the very loose scree; the ice and snow in the couloirs complicated matters somewhat as I prefer to avoid snow whenever possible!)
All in all, Mount Blakiston is a great scramble. Hikers that do not enjoy scrambling might be turned off by the cliff walls up high (the cliff walls appear just below the summit ridge). Alternatively, with a bit of route-finding, a more moderate rubble covered slope can be ascended by traversing to the left of the cliff bands. See below.
[NOTE 1: On a subsequent trip, I hiked Hawkins Horseshoe starting on the Rowe Lakes trail and followed the ridge to the summit of Blakiston... we descended off Blakiston, backtracking from the summit to a more moderate, rubble covered scree slope... this is an alternate way to gain the ridge - going up, this route would be to the left of the cliffs.]
NTS Map: 082G01
Elevation gain: 1350 m (4,445 ft), Max. Elev.: 2910 m (9,546 ft), Distance: ~10kms
NOTE 2: Met Sonny B. and Linda B. on the way up... those two have created fantastic peak-bagging webpages. See Sonny's website and Linda's webpage Sonny and Linda completed the horseshoe and have many interesting photos to share.
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.
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