5 of the worst Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies (2016)


They all have to be done once. Hardly anyone regrets reaching any summit. With that said here are 5 scrambling trips I never want to do again:


5. Mount Fable

When: May 21, 2016
Where: Fairholme (Kananaskis)
Why: I will concede that the summit of Mount Fable is ‘neat’ with a decent view. The reason Fable barely squeaks onto this list is because getting there is mental drudgery; like enduring adverts or romantic comedy, especially if approached via Exshaw Creek. The other popular route to Fable, Gable Ridge, is a pretty plain and uninteresting way to get there as well. The only highlight of the trip up Mount Fable via Gable is with a SE ridge ascent of Gap Peak. Do yourself a favor and turn around there.


4. Mount Galatea

When: May 21, 2016
Where: Kananaskis
Why: What you will remember most about scrambling Mount Galatea is almost eating shit down the steep scree every other step for the better part of a few hours. Galatea has a respectable summit view but it’s barely worth the misery of getting up there. Without question the highlight of this trip is the tarn swim at the end.


3. Commonwealth Peak

When: May 21, 2016
Where: Kananaskis
Why: Commonwealth Peak is dwarfed by Pigs Tail which is dwarfed by Mount Birdwood. They’re all part of the same ridge making for a most unsatisfying summit when you have a look up at what you would rather be on. Combine that with a sure-to-soak-your-feet bog crossing, a bit of a bushwhack and the uber dull initial Burstall Pass double wide and you’ve got yourself a real stinker of a scramble.


2. The Orphan

When: May 21, 2016
Where: Bow Valley (Canmore)
Why: By the time you bang up the flood ravaged drainage and funky slopes to the summit of The Orphan and realize it is the lowest point of 8 or so close proximity summits between Big Sister and The Rimwall it’s too late. The Orphan does not deserve a name, it should be the highest peak on the ridge which is clearly the summit closest to Spray Lake. Summiting the lower outlier of an unnamed peak which has come to be known as ‘the Orphan’ is pointless.


1. Massive Mountain

When: May 21, 2016
Where: Bow Valley (Canmore)
Why: Downloading the first gps track you come across without reading a word of the trip report and then following it blindly up a bush choked gully for hours hoping things will just get better is a sure recipe for pain in suffering in the Canadian Rockies. Every 5 years you might hear about someone doing Massive Mountain in the summer months, make sure it isn’t you. I have deep scars on my shins from this trip, the world of pain you will enter begins shortly above Red Earth Creek.


Thanks for reading! Hopefully these words will save you from suffering up these time wasting scrambles!