Distance: 12.5 km
Elevation gain: 895 m View map Download GPS track
Robertson and Tallon Peaks are two small peaks to the northwest of the Highway 22 - Highway 3 junction near Crowsnest Pass. Their low stature and gentle south-facing ascent slopes make them ideal early season objectives and today I figured they'd make a leisurely Easter Sunday hike.
I parked at the Leitch Collieries Provincial Historic Site along Highway 3, just east of Burmis and west of Bellevue. I didn't really know where to go from here so headed north and quickly encountered a high rock wall, but managed to detour around it to the right (I later found out that there is a bridge to the left!). A steep climb then brought me to a large meadow, and after climbing over a few fences I began ascending the southern ridge of Tallon Peak. The forest along this ridge was absolutely idyllic and in the morning sun it seemed like something out of a fairy tale. Huge 500 year old pine trees dotted the landscape and the open forest made for very easy travel.
Just below the summit of Tallon Peak I found a surprisingly sheltered spot and took the opportunity to have a quick lunch in the sun before continuing up. With a cold wind blowing on top I didn't linger long, instead descending to the north and heading for Robertson Peak. This looked like it would be easy, but thick wind-hardened trees, deep snow patches, and small hills and rocky outcroppings made the 1.5 km journey to its base far less pleasant than the rest of the trip.
A short steep ascent then brought me to the colorful summit plateau of Roberton Peak. Views were quite nice for such a low peak, but many of the mountains to the south and west were hidden in clouds and snow. I also noticed an interesting arrangement of rocks on the summit that I've since identified as a First Nations medicine wheel; apparently there are several other culturally significant arrangements on the summit as well, but without knowing what to look for I hadn't noticed them.
Rather than retrace my steps I decided to forge my own way off the summit and started down its western edge. Eventually I picked up an elk trail and followed it to a nice open forest, then forged my own way down to the valley bottom. Here I picked up an ATV trail in pretty good shape (not muddy) and ended up following it out to the large meadow in which I'd started the hike. Travel was easy along this trail and lower down the scenery was again wonderful. A fantastic end to a great hike on the long weekend!