June 8, 2013
Crowsnest Pass, AB
Weather was getting worse and worse day after day in the past week, and when it came to planning the weekend, we had to downgrade our ambition several times, and eventually settled our objective to Mount Erickson in the Crowsnest Pass area. Mike, Ben and I from Edmonton would join Vern, Wietse, Andrea and Raff from Calgary. We agreed to meet at trail-head by 9:30 in the morning. The weather forecast was calling for sunny condition and we figured that an early start wasn’t essential. However, three of us from Edmonton would drive down south on Friday evening, and we thought there would be enough time for us to squeeze in another objective in the morning. We picked the least impressive, Saskatoon Mountain near Coleman town.
The parking area for this ascent was pretty vague and by following So’s description we made to the part where Highway 40 became gravel. There wasn’t an obvious parking lot and we decided to keep driving up Highway 40 and see if there’s a better parking area. By driving up this road we could also cut down some distance and elevation, making a short ascent tiny. We eventually felt like we’d been driving up far enough, and parked at a large pull-out on right side, and car camped. I slept in my newly bought bivy sack. Really, the only way to make this ascent memorable was to take advantage of the morning hours. This is a great vantage point for Flathead Range and Crowsnest Mountain, so we decided to wake up at 4:30 am in the morning.
Honestly I was pretty short on motivation in this chilly morning, especially seeing this rounded treed bump in front of us. Luckily for us, we parked near a good set of electrical lines and they provided essential clear-cuts. By following this obvious line up, we crossed a quad track, and soon found a faint trail, and followed it upwards. When it became too gradual we decided to leave it and went straight up the grassy slope. The summit was on our right, but we decided to go straight towards a good vantage point which was a good call. The views were just beyond amazing, with alpenglow on Flathead Range and Crowsnest Mountain. We stayed there for maybe half an hour soaking in the views. Eventually the light became bright enough and we decided to check off the summit. The high point was partially treed.
We didn’t stay long up there. We quickly made our way down and drove to the Tim Hortons in Blairmore, getting ready for the primary objective of this day. Our round trip time was 1.5 hours or so.