Most recent trip: August 17, 2014
Trip time: 3 hours 38 mins
Elevation Gain: 1,111m
Route: Kane (via Bears Hump)
Difficulty: Difficult with a few tricky moves and plenty of exposure
If you’re looking to get your hands on the rocks Mount Crandell via the Bears Hump is the objective for you. Getting to the Bears Hump is almost comical – the trail is wide enough for 5 people. After the bears hump the ascent is no joke. There are trails leading willy nilly and all you can do is pick the line you’re most comfortable with. Fair warning: there are climby sections on the ascent that rival those of Smuts (5.4-5.5ish) and the ridge near the top makes Lady Mac’s seem like a picnic. Mount Crandell definitely deserves its difficult rating and in my opinion ranks near the very top of the most difficult scrambles in the Canadian Rockies list…fun if you’re into exposed climbing scrambles but likely a nightmare for any novice. I stress the difficulty only because based on the route descriptions I read I was expecting a half-hearted scramble at most and ended up getting more thrills and excitement than I have had for a while. Crandell is awesome and fun but approach shoes and clear skies are ideal.
At the summit the easy descent route appears trivial and easy, and it is…until about 300-400m down. Once you’ve descended the long sweeping ridge and again head southward towards where you parked the trail peters out and you’ll most likely be forced into a steep bushwhack as I was. If you have a gps it would be worth loading my track if only for reference. There are many cliff bands and sheer drop offs which I somehow managed to narrowly avoid and still turn in a reasonably quick circuit time.
*Note: from atop the ridge it appeared that most of the really difficult sections I climbed might have been bypassed by repeatedly traversing left shortly after the Bears Hump. If you find yourself in a pickle on ascent it might be worth exploring this option.