When we arrived in Invermere we had our sights set on climbing Mount Brewer, but the girl at the info centre warned us not to take a car up the dirt road to the trailhead: an SUV or a truck would be better. However, she gave us the idea to ascend Mount Goldie. Although not as high as Mount Brewer, we could start our ascent at Panorama ski resort. Moreover, we could take the “One Mile Quad” to get a head start up the mountain. For $16 the chairlift would knock off 380 metres of elevation.
The chairlift was advertised to open at 9:00 am but instead it opened at 10:00 am. We were hoping for an early start because of the heat: the temperature was expected to (and did) soar to 34° in Invermere. Also, the 10:00 start shortened our window by an hour since the lift closes at 5:00 pm (they advise getting back by 4:45 to catch the lift down).
The chairlift took ten minutes. Once off the lift, we set off up the mountain. We could ascend just about anywhere but mostly we followed ski runs and tried to keep in the shade of trees to beat the heat. The ascent was dull save for the view of the peaks behind, especially towering Mount Nelson.
Eventually we made it to the summit hut on Panorama Mountain. From there, we hiked along a trail that follows Outback Ridge. Along the ridge signs such as “Devil's Drop” and “Never Never Land” indicated ski runs on our left.
After passing the ski boundary, we continued up the trail. We should have left the trail after the boundary and headed directly to Mount Goldie. When it became clear that the trail was not going to Mount Goldie, we left it and hiked through the trees. We soon came to a scree slope. After plodding up the slope we reached a crumbling ridge and followed it to the broad summit.
Being a clear day, we had great views in all directions. Mounts Assiniboine and Nelson were the most obvious. To the southwest we could see the glaciated Bugaboos. We continued south past the summit to the south end before turning around and heading back. We didn't linger long on the top as we wanted to catch the chairlift before it closed. The return leg was fast and we made it back to the chairlift with half an hour to spare.
Purists may want to eschew the chairlift, but we enjoyed the diversion. And of course, we appreciated saving time and energy to summit on a hot day. I thought Mount Goldie was only a hike so I was pleasantly surprised to find it required easy scrambling to attain the summit. The views were better than I expected too!
View from the chairlift: Panorama Mountain summit is on the left
We left the chairlift below. Mount Bruce sets the background.
Typical travel up the ski slopes
Sultana Peak, Mount Nelson (mouse over), Trafalgar Peak and (far right) Watch Peak
The end of the Champagne Express chairlift
With maps like this, getting lost here isn't possible!
After passing the summit hut on Panorama Mountain we followed
Outback Ridge towards Mount Goldie
From Panorama Mountain, we'll lose 50 m of elevation
We were amused by the warnings at the ski boundary
The gentle rise in the centre is the summit of Mount Goldie
After the treeline, it's a scree slog to the north end of the mountain
Unnamed peak on the right
Summit on the right
Dinah part way up the scree slope
Fissures on the north end
Dinah makes her way around the fissures
We dropped down the left side
Leaving the fractured north end behind
Dinah works her way toward the summit
The summit cairn seems to miss its mark
Interesting outlier north of the summit
Dinah on the way to the summit
We head to the south end
Mount Brewer in the centre of the skyline
The summit hut on Panorama Mountain is barely visible
Scrambling back up the north end
Heading back to Cutback Ridge
Moonrise that night
82 K/8 Toby Creek
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