Distance: 15.5 km
Elevation gain: 1030 mView mapDownload GPS track
After an unsuccessful attempt
at Pigeon Mountain exactly a year earlier, we returned determined to make the summit. Directions to the trailhead and the general route can be found in the previous report. This time, however, we chose to take the usual hikers route to the saddle between the two summits so that, in principle, we would avoid the deep snow that had thwarted our efforts last year.
The hikers route is steep, but the most direct route to the summit. While I imagine there is a trail, it was completely obscured by snow and we ended up following goat trails though mid-calf deep snow and through mid-thigh deep drifts to the saddle, then largely forging our own way to the summit. This sapped our energy considerably and the ascent from the time we left the road/trail took us over 2.5 hours. The continuously foreshortened view and multiple false summits en route to the saddle, coupled with a -20 C windchill, certainly didn't help matters.
The view from the summit, however, is quite spectacular and stretches all the way from Canmore to just outside Calgary. Cars on the trans-Canada below move along like ants and snowy peaks (at least this time of year) are all around. I'd just like to be up here one day when it's not freezing cold!