Mount Lougheed

 July 2007

 

Elevation: 3107m Gain: 1400m Difficulty level: Moderate
Ascent time: 5 hours  Total trip time: 9 hrs Conditions: Dry

Parking area: 11km south of the bridge at Goat Pond dam (Smith-Dorrien)

 

     

This was an ACC trip led by Kris Thorstiensson. I had bumped into him last year on Gap Peak, where I was extremely impressed by his elite register making skills. Mount Lougheed had been a major objective for me. Until now, it had been inaccessible, since the fabled non-technical route remained shrouded in mystery. Also, an opportunity to scramble with Kris was not to be turned down. For those who don't know, Kris was there in the Beginning; before scrambles were scrambles, back in the day when the Book of Scrambles was being formed.

 

 

ROUTE

From Canmore, drive south along the Smith-Dorrien. The trailhead was on the left side of the road by Spencer Creek; exactly 11km south of the bridge by Goat Pond dam.

Follow the surprisingly well defined trail to the left of the creek, until it abruptly ends. From here on, bushwhack in a line parallel to the creek. Staying above creek level makes for faster travel, but at some point you will need to descend to the creek; which will then necessitate multiple creek crossings.

The creek ends at a natural amphitheatre (see below). Take the first scree slope up on the left. Mount Sparrowhawk towers to the right.

Follow the scree slope up (staying left) until you come across a rockface with a waterfall. Head right through a weakness in the rock, which then allows access to a gently sloping ridge. Kris was good enough to mark the turn off point with red flagging. 

Once on the ridge, its an easy walk to Peak 2 (the official summit of Mount Lougheed). The
day began with the threat of rain, however, as we reached the summit, we broke through the cloud cover; exposing blue skies with the tips of mountains just peeking above a sea of clouds. The views were absolutely breathtaking. We ended up spending close to an hour up top

Peak 3 beckoned, and following some mad scree skiing down a seemingly impossible line (to the right of the snow patch), we reached a plateau separating the two peaks. A quick run (Kris ran, while I gasped) up a steep scree slope, and the Peak 3 objective was reached (45 minutes peak to peak)
We traversed along the green line back (careful not to lose elevation), and followed the ascent route back once at the original turn-off.
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