Grizzly Peak – Canadian Rockies
July 21 2006
Grizzly Peak is my first new scramble for 2006, five years and a day since I scrambled Cascade Mountain. Mark Brisseau was on vacation from Ontario and gave me a call. Mark scrambled with me once back on July 4th 2001 when I scrambled Paget Peak.
Back in 2001
Grizzly Peak is located in Kananaskis Provincial Park. I had thought of doing Mount Norquay but decided on an easy scramble with limited vertical gain to start the season out. Grizzly Peak is about 800 meters vertical and has a summit altitude of 2500 meters.
The trail starts next to a small creek about 4km south of the Fortress Mountain ski hill turn off. It climbs rapidly for the first half hour or so, then you climb a small ledge and start to contour around the south side of the mountain. The ledge constitutes the crux and is the only real scrambling. After about 30 minutes of traversing the trail reaches grassy slopes an the south east aspect of the mountain and you have to find your way up through grasses and the occasional scree gully. A col is reached after scrambling up through a coal-shale seam.
Once at the col you’ll probably want to have a break and enjoy the scenery. A plateau of meadows will give you the opportunity to spot wild-life. We identified some sheep and a coyote.
From there it’s about 15 minutes to the summit.
On the way to the summit mark spotted the lone larch. This Larch is mentioned in Alan Kane’s “Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies”.
Summit views of the Kananaskis Valley are fantastic. On July 21st the summit temperature was about 70 degrees and only a gentle breeze was blowing.
Forward to 2006
Mark and I sat on the grassy summit and chatted for about 45 minutes before deciding to go down.
Here are some before and after pictures. As I said, Mark was on a scramble up Paget Peak with me five years ago.
On the way back down our feet were treated to a beating and on the lower slopes the temperature was sometimes very hot.
Mark and I will probably go scrambling again soon, the next time he passes through town.
Mark and I on the summit of Grizzly Peak
I never worry about action, but only inaction.
Winston Churchill 1874-1965
British Statesman, Prime Minister