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Crowfoot North Peak
Icefields Parkway, Alberta
September 7, 2019

Any high point along the Icefields Parkway is likely to provide exceptional views, views best seen on a sunny day. Last year, Zora, Jonathan and I missed out when we went to climb Crowfoot North Peak; we turned back at the trailhead because of rain. Perhaps feeling guilty about that, Mother Nature favoured us with blue skies this time.

This subpeak of Crowfoot Mountain is largely a hike except for a brief, easy scramble at the summit. The trip starts at Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. We followed the trail as it runs alongside Bow Lake, crosses gravel flats, and climbs above a narrow canyon. After crossing the canyon on a huge chockstone, we kept left at the trail fork (right for Bow Hut).

A few minutes after the fork, we looked for a likely place to leave the trail. We needed to reach the base of the looming cliff band ahead. When we could see the rubble at the base of the cliff through the trees, we started up. We soon hit upon a vague trail that skirts the edge of the rocks. When the trail disappeared we climbed towards the cliffs.

We followed the base of the cliff band until it ended. Then we angled left, up a meadow and through sparse trees to emerge at the edge of a vast but gentle scree slope. The summit of Crowfoot North appeared on our right, perched on a small cliff band. Left was the viewpoint that Andrew suggests visiting in More Scrambles. We headed there.

After a long plod up stable scree, we reached a bump on a ridge and were immediately captivated by the stunning scenery all around us. West, Wapta Icefield glistened in the sunshine, while east, gray peaks lined the Icefields Parkway. Distracted, we failed to notice we weren't on the correct viewpoint which was 100 m or so north. But our perch didn't lack views; we spent over 40 minutes gazing around and snapping photos. I took my panorama here.

Then we turned our attention to the summit of Crowfoot North Peak, 250 m south. Several minutes later and after a short scramble up the east end of a cliff band, we were on top.

After a lengthy stay, we started down. But instead of climbing back down the east end, we hiked along the cliff band to a notch where we easily descended. We continued our descent on loose rock until we reached our ascent route. All the way back to the parking lot, Mother Nature continued to stream sunshine down on us.

KML and GPX Tracks


Crowfoot North Peak seen from the trailhead


Hiking up the trail alongside Bow Lake

Ahead is the slope we'll angle up


Climbing up the chockstone. Last year a ladder made it easy.


Continuing up the trail after the chockstone


We kept left at the trail fork


We left the trail here


We came across a vague trail that follows the edge of the rocks


A short time later we were hiking up the rocks


Impressive cliffs towered above us


We skirted the base of the cliffs until we got around them


We finally reached the end of the cliff band


Coming to alpine meadows


The summit appears in the centre


Looking back


Sunlight lit up fall colours


Observation Peak appears above Bow Lake


We traversed the rubble on our ascent, but on the descent Zora and Jonathan came down the ridge left


Looking back


We called this rock "The Finger"


We headed left to the viewpoint


To reach Andrew's viewpoint we should have kept left of the point in the centre, but we went right


Much of the landscape is void of landmarks


Behind us, The Onion appears left of Iceberg Lake


Jonathan and Zora on our viewpoint


Looking down at Bow Lake


We spent a long time here snapping photos


Heading to the summit. Later we would come down the notch in the ridge.


Nearing the summit


There's a brief scramble to the top


Jonathan, Zora and I on the summit


Mount Jimmy Simpson lies south


Dolomite Peak is immediately west


The long ascent gully on Mount Weed is clearly seen


Good view of the ascent slope on Bow Peak. Behind it is Mount Hector.


Heading down to the notch


Jonathan reaches the notch


The notch was an easy descent off the ridge


Back at The Finger which points to the summit of Crowfoot North


82 N/9 Hector Lake

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