Read’s Tower

July 11, 2012

2663m

Kananaskis – Smith Dorrien Valley, AB

Read’s Tower is a smaller ‘outlier’ on the gigantic slope of Mt. Sparrowhawk. It’s usually done in winter as a snowshoe ascent and is well documented in Andrew Nugara’s Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies. Its big brother, Mt. Sparrowhawk, is also doable in winter and is one of the classic ski ascents documented in Chic Scott’s Summits and Icefields, but needs much stabler condition. In summer time, both are easy scrambles with minimal hazard.

Read's Tower standard ascent route

Read’s Tower standard ascent route

I managed to squeeze Read’s Tower into a summer ascent of the bigger Mt. Sparrowhawk. This was done as a side-trip so all of the approach and return is written in my Mt. Sparrowhawk’s trip report. In retrospect I wish I didn’t rush this peak on this particular day since there wasn’t extra views (just got them all from Mt. Sparrowhawk earlier in the day)… Clayton wasn’t interested in so opted for taking a nap, while I made a promise of coming back in 1 hour. From Read’s Ridge (the point where the two objectives split), it took me 25 min up, 5 min summit stay, and 15 min down.

Mt. Sparrowhawk (center) and Read's Tower (right) seen from Read's Ridge.

Mt. Sparrowhawk (center) and Read’s Tower (right) seen from Read’s Ridge.

Typical scree on Read's Tower

Typical scree on Read’s Tower

Occasionally the route parallels the left edge. In winter you have to watch for cornices.

Occasionally the route parallels the left edge. In winter you have to watch for cornices.

A closer look at Sparrowhawk

Mt. Sparrowhawk from the summit of Read’s Tower

Kananaskis Range and the southern half of Spray Lakes

Kananaskis Range and the southern half of Spray Lakes

More of Spray Lakes

More of Spray Lakes

Old Goat Mountain

Old Goat Mountain

Mount Nestor

Mount Nestor

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