Crowfoot, Little


Trip Details
Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Trip Date: 
Friday, February 17, 2012
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: 

Winter ascent includes serious avalanche risks. Learn how to manage these risks and perform avalanche burial rescues before attempting this trip.

Trip Report

On Friday, February 17 2012, Wietse and I decided to take the day off work and bag another peak after our great experience on Patterson a week earlier. Originally we were thinking of Mount Gordon. I've already skied that peak, but it was -26 with an extreme windchill and no views so I want to repeat it in gorgeous conditions some time.


Once we got closer to the date we decided we didn't want such a long day and settled on Little Crowfoot mountain instead. Wietse didn't think this was an 'official' summit but since Chic Scott mentions it in his guidebook he agreed that it was official enough to bother with. :-)


The route is exactly the same as for Crowfoot Mountain except you stay climber's right as much as possible. It was much more of a summit than we expected and came in at a 900 meter height gain from the parking lot! The views were sublime from the top, especially towards Balfour and the southern Wapta peaks.


[A very clear, but also very chilly, morning at Bow Lake. ++]

[Looking back at Wietse on our crossing of Bow Lake, you can see morning clouds hanging over the lake. This is the 2nd coldest place on earth. The coldest is the trench on the Columbia Icefield. :-)]

[High winds whip snow off The Onion.]

[View towards Bow Falls and Portal Peak on the upper right - one of the only scrambles on the Wapta Icefield.]

[Note the huge slab avalanche that peeled off of Vulture Peak. The canyon had slightly less snow than usual.]

[Looking back as Wietse comes out of the approach canyon. Jimmy Simpson in the bg.]

[Approaching the place where we'll turn left instead of the usual right hand turn towards the Bow Hut. Vulture on the left, St. Nicholas at upper right. ++

[Looking back at the Bow Hut with St. Nicholas on the left as we work our way up the canyon across from it.]

[A bright ribbon guides us to a small height loss (PITA on return!) before the Crowfoot Moraines.]

[Wietse comes up behind me.]

[Following tracks makes our life easier.]

[Looking ahead to the col. Crowfoot mountain on the left and Little Crowfoot on the right.]

[Telephoto panorama of the But Hut with St. Nicholas on the left and The Onion on the right. ++]

[Wietse comes up to the Crowfoot Glacier with Portal, Thompson and Jimmy Simpson (L to R) in the bg.]

[Wietse looks small next to cliffs coming off Vulture Peak. ++]

[There were some steep rolls in the terrain that would be an issue with high avalanche conditions. This is actually starting to feel like a real summit now! ++]

[Final slopes to the summit at left.]

[Views to the east off the summit with Crowfoot Mountain at far right. ++]

[Summit views to the south with mighty Mount Balfour in the distance and Vulture on the right. ++]

[Another shot looking south includes Mount Temple just left of center and of course Balfour at right. ++]

[Yes - this is another shot of Balfour! :) Sorry, but this gorgeous peak deserves all the attention today. This shot clearly shows the Balfour Glacier exit to Hector Lake on the left. Skiing that untracked powder was an amazing experience. ++]

[As is often the case with smaller peak, the views are stunning in every direction including north. This view includes Weed, Noyes, Bison, Murchison, Jimmy Simpson, Mistaya, Patterson, Thompson (R to L). ++]

[Looking towards Thompson with Portal barely visible as a separate peak right in front of it, Trapper and Tilly in the background.]

[Collie, St. Nicholas, Collesha, Ayesha, Rhondda, Habel, Baker, Tilly and Trapper (L to R) - some of the Wapta Icefields most famous peaks. ++]

[A slightly wider shot looking west and north from the summit. ++]

[Vern on the summit.]

[Descent tracks.]

[Wietse enjoys the ski down.]

[The only place besides just before the lake that we had to gain height on return.]


Overall, this peak was much more engaging than we expected and I highly recommend it. Our run down was fast and fun.


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