Mount Erickson

June 8, 2013

2490m

Crowsnest Pass, BC

Mt. Erickson was our primary objective in this weekend. Probably because it’s located in the BC side of Crowsnest Pass area, it’d been largely ignored by most scramblers. Therefore when Wietse suggested this objective everyone got interested in. Mike, Ben and I from Edmonton would drive down south to join Vern, Wietse, Raff and Andrea from Calgary, and we agreed to meet at trailhead by 9:30am. Having the entire morning ahead, we hiked up Saskatoon Mountain for some morning photography, but still, we were almost 3 hours ahead of schedule. We killed some time in the Tim Hortons before driving to Crowsnest Lake killing the rest of the hours. Another interesting fact for this trip was that I’d hit my 200th on the summit of Mt. Erickson together with Wietse, who was also on his 199th.

Mt. Erickson scramble route

Mt. Erickson scramble route

Everybody showed up at the supposed parking area just short of 7 km west of AB/BC boarder. There are two parking areas on the south side of Highway 3 adjacent to each other, and we parked at the first one. There’s little to describe the route since it essentially follows the obvious ridgeline all the way to the summit. However, at the bottom part, it’s easy to get confused. There’re two treed ribs separated by a small drainage that goes up. All possible lines work, as long as you’re constantly moving uphill. We picked the right hand side rib, but stayed somehow on the left side of the rib crest. Some boulder hoping and some light bushwhacking was involved but nothing major. We briefly lost Vern in the trees, but we regrouped together at treeline. The view from here was already great, with rarely seen peaks showing up on the west, as well as the familiar Flathead Range and High Rock Range towards south and east. The false summit looked quite impressive from this angle.

Crowsnest Lake and Crowsnest Ridge

Crowsnest Lake and Crowsnest Ridge

Clear water in Crowsnest Lake

Clear water in Crowsnest Lake

A view from parking area. Alexander Creek was raging

A view from parking area. Alexander Creek was raging

Mike hiking through the forest

Mike hiking through the forest

We would soon start boulder hopping

We would soon start boulder hopping

Getting higher

Getting higher

Mount Ptolemy is the highest in Flathead Range

Mount Ptolemy is the highest in Flathead Range

More boulders. We stayed on climber's right to avoid them.

More boulders. We stayed on climber’s right to avoid them.

Raff and Andrea continuing up

Raff and Andrea continuing up

Vern hiking up one of the few snow patches

Vern hiking up one of the few snow patches

Panorama looking west

Panorama looking west

Panorama looking east

Panorama looking east

Vern taking photos, with the false summit in background

Vern taking photos, with the false summit in background

A brief ridge-walk

A brief ridge-walk

The false summit

The false summit

A short section of enjoyable downhill ridge walk brought us to its base, and then it was an easy slog up talus and then foreshortened grassy slopes. There’s a giant “BC green tower” on the false summit. The only part that can qualify as scrambling was between false and true summit. There’s brief exposure on climber’s right, and the footings were bit loose. We caught up a solo scrambler on the summit, who turned out to be Dave Salahab. Rarely seen peaks towards west including Mt. Bisaro in Fernie area and Mt. Washburn west of Sparwood were impressive, but what actually stole the show was the giant open pit mine on the nearby Baldy Mountain. It’s impressive but ugly at the same time.

Ridge-walk to get to the base of false summit

Ridge-walk to get to the base of false summit

Andrea and Mike

Andrea and Mike

Looking back towards the south summit

Looking back towards the south summit

Mike and Andrea on the last dip

Mike and Andrea on the last dip

And it's easy scrambling to get up the false summit

And it’s easy scrambling to get up the false summit

Slogging up grassy slope

Slogging up grassy slope

Ben on the helicopter pad on false summit

Ben on the helicopter pad on false summit

Any volunteer? I think it's Erickson Tower

Any volunteer? I think it’s Erickson Tower

The true summit seen from false summit

The true summit seen from false summit

Summit Panorama. Note that Dave Salahab is also in this pano. Click to view large size.

Summit Panorama. Note that Dave Salahab is also in this pano. Click to view large size.

Three Sisters and Bisaro steals the show towards Fernie area

Three Sisters and Bisaro steals the show towards Fernie area

Looking west over town of Sparwood. The big peak is Washburn

Looking west over town of Sparwood. The big peak is Washburn

A closer look at Mount Washburn

A closer look at Mount Washburn

Looking deep up into Elk Valley

Looking deep up into Elk Valley

High Rock Range with Tornado Mountain being the highest

High Rock Range with Tornado Mountain being the highest

And, this is the landmark of Crowsnest

And, this is the landmark of Crowsnest

Tecunseh and Phillipps on left; Ptolemy at center

Tecunseh and Phillipps on left; Ptolemy at center

We took a long break on the non-windy summit

We took a long break on the non-windy summit

Looking North

Looking North

The giant mine on top of Baldy Mountain. They made the mountain baldy...

The giant mine on top of Baldy Mountain. They made the mountain baldy…

We took a long break on the summit before going down. It was a rare non-windy day in the Crowsnest. There’s not much to say about the descent except for it being hard on the knees. There were a couple snow patches to help but that’s it.

Flowers on the way down. I think it's glacier lily

Flowers on the way down. I think it’s glacier lily

More flowers

More flowers

Mike descending a boulder field

Mike descending a boulder field

Sentry Mountain from the descent.

Sentry Mountain from the descent.

Mike, Ben, and I were originally keen on another objective, but now we were all short on motivation especially since it was getting cloudier, so we decided to drive home earlier to make the day less tiresome.

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