Pharaoh Peak, Greater


Trip Details
Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Trip Date: 
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Summit Elevation (m): 
Summit Elevation (ft): 
Elevation Gain (m): 
Round Trip Time: 
Total Distance (km): 
Quick 'n Easy Rating: 
Class 2 : you fall, you sprain your wrist
Difficulty Notes: 

There are no technical difficulties to the summit of the Greater Pharaoh Peak. It's just a long bloody trek!!

Trip Report

As I watched the giant snow flakes fall gently and silently all around me and settle onto the yellow and red fall foliage before slowly starting to melt, I was struck by a thought that has hit me square between the eyes more than once while solo trekking on various trails and routes through the backcountry of my beloved Canadian Rockies. The beauty that I'd experienced on this long and tiring day - and many long and tiring days before it - was not there for my benefit. It was simply there. Natural beauty is something that drives many of us out of the concrete jungles where we make a living, out to a more peaceful and reflective existence on the trail - where we are smaller somehow, and more connected with our ancient, wandering roots. While we feel almost a spiritual connection to the land, we often make the mistake of thinking that all the natural beauty that we find beyond our temporary fake and material world, is somehow there for us. Because of us - like it owes us it's very existence. But this is not true my friends.


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I just got back from three days in the Sierra alone. I came to the same conclusions you did. I have to admit I've used many of your photos as wallpaper on my Mac. :)

Thanks man. I think wandering in the wild does things to our brains. Mostly good things. :)

First off, fantastic write-up! I was curious if you think it would be feasible to complete a ridge traverse north along the Pharaohs? I can spot the low point in the ridge (just south of the lesser Pharaoh Peak), but I can't tell how technical it might be. Any insights? Thanks in advance.

Hey Conor, I think you could easily do a ridge traverse over the various summits of Pharaoh. The only thing I'm not 100% sure of is how careful you might have to be with routefinding on route. :) The terrain didn't look horrible from what I can remember and I know people have done it.

Was there a summit register up there?

Not when I did it, no. There also is no register on Lesser Pharaoh which I just did last weekend.

Hi there, a few friends and I are staying at the Egypt Lake Shelter over the weekend, planning to hike Greater Pharaoh Peak on Sunday (Canada Day). Just wanting a little more in depth description on how to access the trail and if the signage is decent on where to veer off the whistling pass trail. Is the trail easy to Navigate and follow? Parks weren't really able to give us much info on this hike which was disappointing so am trying to get as much info before we set off so that we are fully prepared and have a clear idea of where we need to go. THANK YOU!! :)

Hey Sarah,

If you follow my photos from the campground (i.e. look for the wooden sign to Whistling Pass and Scarab Lake). There is no signage of where to leave the trail to scramble the peak, nor is there a trail up to the summit - this is why it's a "scramble". :) The easiest thing BY FAR is to download the Gaia app (free) on your iPhone and use your phone as a GPS. The track is already on the Gaia map as a dashed line, or you can download my GPS file (on the trip report) and upload it into your Gaia as a new route. Don't forget to download the area map to your phone as you won't have cell service up there.

Wow great write up and fantastic shots!!! I’m planning this one as a trail run this year, solo of course! LOL at your Revenant comment. I wish I’d never watched that one—-

Thanks Jody! Yeah, Revenant is not the film to watch before you do anything backcountry solo. 

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