Vermilion Peak

 Posted by on July 27, 2003  Kootenay National Park  7 Responses »
Jul 272003

I explain what Hafner Creek is like

Sunday July 27/2003

The day was clear so I decided to try the new car on the highway and go to a peak that’s always interested me, Vermilion Peak

I knew the peak was centrally located in the valley occupied by the Kootenay River and that the views of the surrounding peaks would be one of the best.

It didn’t disappoint.

I got to the section of road just below the avalanche chute at about 10:45 and was under way by 11:06. It took me just over an hour to get above the two minor rock bands. The summit ridge in just over two hours and the summit at 2:45. Not bad.

I got back to the car and my chronometer said 4:32. That could be faster but then I wouldn’t be able to stop to take pictures of flowers and chase bees and butterflies.

I could see the valley of Hafner Creek in its entirety. It was looking not bad from here but being down there two summers ago was different. It wasn’t that bad; would I do it again? Sure.

But it wouldn’t be the same, not like the first time.

Once I finished with the movies and pictures I had some grub and drinks and then started back down. The ridge coming back was easier. On the way up it wasn’t that bad but seeing it made me think, Oh…. now I have to scramble.

After awhile though the scrambling mode comes into play and it goes automatically.

Lower down, once I got off of the ridge, I settled into the descent, and what should be the easiest part of the day.

Every mountain is different I find and the surprise this one had for me was four,… count em four… falls onto my butt. The culprits were rocks hidden branches and just bad luck. It was easy going but sometimes it just doesn’t matter, the mountain will just decided she’s going to kick your butt!

The summit of Vermilion peak

Vermilion Peak Panaorama

It takes two people to ruin a perfectly good day. First a person who says something downright nasty about you, and second, a dear friend who makes sure you hear about it immediately.

Source Unknown

The good days weren’t really so good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.

Billy Joel
1949-, American Musician, Piano Man, Singer, Songwriter

Vermilion Peak Scramble Gallery

Later next Summer, the whole thing goes up in smoke. The Vermilion – Hafner Creek Fire

Jun 092002

Kindersley Summit

Kindersley Summit

This is a great hike to a subsidiary summit that offers incredible views. The hike is well worth the effort and offers the option of making a loop out of Kindersley Creek and Sinclair Creek.

The Kindersley Creek trail is visible at the bottom of this photo

The Kindersley Creek trail is visible at the bottom of this

We started by going up the Kindersley Creek trail. It’s about 10 k to Kindersley Pass and then another 2 or 3 to the Kindersley Sinclair Col. At this point it would be pointless to not go the extra distance to the summit but you would be surprised at how many people would opt out
at this point. It would be a shame really because a few treats await the traveler who is willing and able.

The summit is a actually two small peaks. The scramble over to the other peak is easy.

Once on top one can see Mt. Assiniboine, Mt. Ball, The Goodsirs, The Bugaboos and a great expanse of the Rocky Mountain Trench to the west. The Royal Group is also visible as well as Mount Joffre. One could spend hours here trying to identify peaks in the distance. Some of the distant peaks in the east are no doubt as far as the frontal ranges in Alberta.

A brown study at next to friendly Sinclair Creek

A brown study at next to friendly Sinclair Creek

One small orange spike of a summit had my curiosity. Was it Mt. Bogart? Hummmm!

We then continued down Sinclair Creek and found we were going down down down for what seemed an eternity. At one point we stopped next to Sinclair Creek for a brown study. The creek was just a small gurgling thing at this point and so was perfect to relax by.

At the highway you must walk down the road 1.2k to the parking for Kindersley Creek. The entire loop is 19k and 3500 feet of elevation gain and loss.


Kindersley Mountain to the right of the first peak

Kindersley Mountain to the right of the first peak

In the end though what else are you going to do? Sit around the campfire and eat steaks and drink beer? You’ll get a gut or perhaps break your colon doing that! Tisk Tisk.

Kindersley Summit Panorama

Kindersley Summit Panorama

When you’re finally up on the moon, looking back at the earth, all these differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend and you’re going to get a concept that maybe this is really one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people?

Borman Frank
American Astronaut

Aug 172001

Mt. Ball

Mt. Ball

Tom Seto, Henri Henault and I scrambled up both mountains (and Beatrice Peak) in one day from the top of Hafner creek about three weeks before 911. The approach to the top of the creek took about six hours, a lot more than Kane’s guide book suggests.

The bivi site was nice but the smoke from a nearby forest fire was intense and some interesting photos were had. I got dizzy for a moment.

The traverse between the two summits was fun, with one spot of ice to deal with. I used my adz to cut a single step in but I’m not sure if Tom used it on his way back, a down climb. I did.

Tom did an ice glissade down from the summit but I clawed my way back up to the safety of rock after a few slippery step’s. Took a bit longer but was preferable to an ice burn.

Beatrice Peak and Mount Stephen

Beatrice Peak and Mount Stephen, our route follows the narrow snow ridge

I found the bush whack much easier on return. It helps to get the trail finding skills in shape. The log jumping and obstacle course made for lots of bending, heaving and other bodily movements that with a full pack was a good workout.

I’m glad I went on this trip instead of the Castle Mountain trip we had planned on.

Unfortunately my friend Ann never made it. I would have loved it if she had come but nobody could be found to take care of her cat, Blue.


I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge — that
myth is more potent than history. I believe that dreams are
more powerful than facts — That hope always triumphs over
experience — That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I
believe that love is stronger than death.

Robert Fulghum
American Writer, Minister, Working Cowboy

We know that we have passed
from death into life, because we love… [1 John 3:14]

Sacred Scriptures of Christians and Judaism

Angry God

This is in my estimation the most beautiful photo I’ve ever taken. The sun was setting through the smoke and then we saw this thing.
This cloud was like an awesome omen, at once beautiful but also strangely awful. At the time I thought of it as an angry God.
In retrospect it seems almost surreal that this moment came along when it did. An end to a chapter in my life and the story of this world.

Mount Ball and Beatrice Peak Gallery


Movie of Hafner Creek from Vermilion Peak