After studying the topo map, I couldn't help noticing this obvious peak overlooking Cougar Creek. The creek, in turn, provided a good approach. Beyond that, the route appeared uncertain just looking at the map. So Dale, Kari, Dinah and I set off with the intention of exploring a route and not reaching the summit. Yet we did. It has no name but I refer to it as "Cougar Peak," not to be confused with Cougar Mountain in Elbow Valley.
Starting up Cougar Creek, we took the left fork at the Canadian Forks. 45 minutes after leaving the Forks, we came across an obvious gully (201657) 7 km from the trailhead. It was the first break in the trees on the east bank since we left the Forks.
The break was actually the start of a gully. It was steep at first, but after a few minutes it leveled off. The gully continues climbing straight up, but we took a side drainage on our left to reach a broad scree slope. Here an enticing scene unfolded. An expanse of scree extended left along the mountainside, while a cliff band rose above us on our right. Ahead of us, however, a gully extended toward a col. We set out for it. It was a steep climb to the col but an easy hike to the summit.
Cougar Peak seen from farther up Cougar Creek. Despite appearances, the highest point is
on the left.
Hiking up Cougar Creek
Starting up the side gully that drains into Cougar Creek
After passing the trees, we left the gully on the left side
The route as seen after leaving the first gully
The grade is quite steep
We went up the gully on the right, with the snow strip
Starting up the gully
At the col and just a few minutes from the summit
Relaxing on the summit
Coming down from the col
A quick descent down the gully full of snow
Dinah carefully crosses a log on Cougar Creek
82 O/3 Canmore
Canada | Home