11 Best Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies (2016)


These were the 11 best scrambling trips of the 2016 season. If these peaks aren’t on your summit list consider checking them out in 2017:


11. Mount Fullerton via SE Ridge

When: June 7, 2016
Where: Elbow Valley (Kananaskis)
Why: Easy going approach terrain makes gaining the SE ridge of Mount Fullerton reasonably quick. There is some awesome hands on scrambling on this route and overall its a fun and worthwhile outing. It’s at the back of the pack because there is a little bit of rubble to negotiate and the summit views aren’t quite as spectacular as the neighbors (Romulus & Glasgow).

@jford.welsh taking the final steps to the summit of Mount Fullerton via SE ridge (taken June 7, 2016)

A photo posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on


10. Princess Margaret Mountain

When: May 21, 2016
Where: Bow Valley (Canmore)
Why: A short approach through thin forest makes it quick and easy to reach the fun slab scrambling about half way up Princess Margaret Mountain. Working the ridge after the slabs is sweet too, but the best part is the final summit ramp which looks ridiculous from the false summit and feels really cool to ascend. The only thing Princess Margaret Mountain lacks is total elevation (compared to surrounding peaks) making the views a little less memorable than the rest of the summits on this list. Click here for trip report.

Final push to the summit of Princess Margaret Mountain (May 21, 2016)

A photo posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on


9. Mount Niblock & Mount Whyte


When:
July 21, 2016
Where: Lake Louise (Banff National Park)
Why: The super scenic approach to Niblock and Whyte with unreal views of Lake Louise and Lake Agnes is a blast to run. The scrambling on Mount Niblock is a perfect warm up for the solid more difficult scrambling route up Mount Whyte. Most of this trip is as good as scrambling gets as far as enjoyability is concerned, but it is a bit of a slog to gain the Niblock/Whyte col landing this trip near the back of the list. Click here for trip report.

Lake Louise & Lake Agnes from the summit of Mount Whyte (taken July 21, 2016)

A photo posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on


8. The Monarch


When:
September 14, 2016
Where: Sunshine Meadows Area (Banff National Park)
Why: With over 1500m of gain and distant neighbors, The Monarch has one of those incredibly bitchin summit views that makes a painful slog up a  loose gully completely worthwhile. If it weren’t for the brutal gully this peak would be top 5.

The Monarch (taken Sept 14, 2016)

A photo posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on


7. Wind Mountain


When:
September 19, 2016
Where: Ribbon Creek Area (Kananaskis)
Why:  Wind Mountain has one of the coolest summit views in Kananaskis. The approach is longer but the ground is easy to cover making for a pleasant journey. The wicked lower 5th slab climbing just below the summit ices the delectable Wind Mountain cake. Wind Mountain scramble is a must do!

Wind Mountain summit (sept 19, 2016)

A video posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on


6. Mount Burgess & Walcott Peak


When:
August 25, 2016
Where: Field (Yoho National Park)
Why: It’s easy going up Walcott Peak but looking across to Mount Burgess one wonders just how the hell its possible to make the traverse without gear. If you stick to the ridge though, the scrambling is a blast, some of the best in the area. The views from Walcott & Burgess are just ok (compared to Carnarvon or Stephen) which is why it only comes in middle of the pack.


5. Mount Vaux


When:
August 11, 2016
Where: Ottertail (Yoho National Park)
Why: After ascending 2,200m the accomplishment of summiting Vaux feels pretty god damn good. The terrain in the Vaux ascent gully is uncharacteristically firm and makes for an easier day than anticipated. At 3,319m (10,890ft) Mount Vaux has a sick summit view that’s hard to beat…even with some clouds. Click here for trip report.


4. Mount Stephen


When:
August 20, 2016
Where: Field (Yoho National Park)
Why: If you’ve yet to do Mount Stepehen you’re in for a treat. Of the 1,947m you gain only a couple hundred feel like grunt work, which is a bloody rarity as far as scrambles of this magnitude are concerned. Couple the fun scrambling terrain with a mind blowing view, the best near Field, and you’ve got yourself a winning day out.

On the awesome summit ridge of Mount Stephen (photo cred: Geoff Hardy)

A photo posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on

Summit fight club: Mount Stephen…poor Geoff didn’t know @ariellefitz22 was a blackbelt ✊

A photo posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on


3. Mount Northover


When:
August 20, 2016
Where: Kananaskis
Why: The views from Northover Ridge are spectacular…but they are nothing compared to the true summit of Mount Northover. The approach to Mount Northover is easy and fun to run, the South ridge is a solid blast to scramble and the final summit block is just plain awesome to climb. Bagging Mount Northover is bloody thrilling and one of the best days out scrambling I’ve ever had. Click here for trip report.

Northover Ridge looking spectacular from the summit of Mount Northover (taken Sept 1, 2016)

A photo posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on


2. Mount Lougheed Traverse


When:
July 23, 2016
Where: Canmore/Bow Valley (Kananaskis)
Why: Crossing the chasm between Peak 1 and Peak 2 of Mount Lougheed is an unforgettable experience. The views, scrambling and energy up there are intoxicating. The ridge between Mount Lougheed 1 and 2 is just such a ridiculous place for human feet that running around up there changes you. Everything about this traverse is awesome. Click here for trip report.

@ruchely making her way to Mount Lougheed Peak 1 summit (taken July 23, 2016)

A photo posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on

Running down Mount Lougheed Peak 1 en route to Peak 2 (taken July 23, 2016)

A photo posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on


1. Mount Townsend


When:
April 9, 2016
Where: Canmore/Front Range (Kananaskis)
Why: Mount Townsend looms so distantly at the back of Cougar Creek that attempting the trip from Canmore almost seems absurd. It feels so cool to stand on such a prominent (and remote for the area) front range summit for a complete survey of dozens and dozens identifiable peaks. It’s hard to describe in words why Mount Townsend was so amazing, its definitely something you need to see and experience for yourself. Every mountain on this list was a blast worth repeating but if I had to choose one, Mount Townsend was the best summit of the season. Click here for trip report.

Enjoying the bluebird day on Mount Townsend & Epic Tower (taken April 9, 2016)

A photo posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on

 


Thanks for reading the 10 best scrambles in the Canadian Rockies list!