After scrambling Pyramid Mountain in 6 hours car-to-car, So and I decided that we'd better not waste the rest of a perfectly fine day on lounging around in our campsite so we went up Cinquefoil Mountain instead!
Cinquefoil is rated "easy" and the short time that Kane lists is around 4 hours. This is fine except it sets the expectation for the mountain pretty low. Most people seem surprised both by the difficulty and length of this trip.
We didn't find the mountain difficult by any means, but it's also not the same "easy" that Heart, Ha Lin, Fairview or St. Piran are either. The access to the mountain is also outdated, especially if you're trying to scramble it before September when the lake covers the trail.
I would suggest a new access rather than the parking lot at N53 3 58, W118 3 44. Park closer to where the north west ridge descends almost to the highway and bushwhack across a small ditch and directly to the ridge. You can't park right under the ridge because there's a small lake right there - park as close as you can while still being able to jump across the narrow ditch. This spot will be somewhere around N53 4 17, W118 3 7.
Gain the north west ridge after a short bushwhack, either via the Kane access gully or much earlier, basically as soon as possible. We gained the ridge quite quickly and had to detour around approximately 20 sheep rather than disturb them too much. The young ones were a pleasure to watch. That's about the extent of the 'pleasure' on this scramble too! :)
Cinquefoil is probably my least favorite Jasper scramble so far. It's easy enough and the trail is fun to follow (keep your eyes out for cairns) but the mountain just isn't much of a challenge and doesn't have a lot of interesting terrain. The crux is somewhat interesting if you stay climber's left but otherwise it's a scree slog. Of course, being our second peak of the day meant that we were starting to feel all the elevation gain, not to mention the 4.5 hours of sleep! :D
The views were better than I was expecting so that made up for the heat and the trudge. I'm glad I did it but I would never repeat this one. Our round trip time of 5.5 hours made us wonder how fast you'd have to go to do it in 4. You'd be running the whole way! I think Kane's time of 4 hours as a minimum is stretching it a bit. 6-8 hours would be more appropriate for planning purposes.
So starts down a promising looking path to Merlin Pass...
So narrowly avoids death by "sheep". No one says that scrambling is safe...
The sheep narrowly avoid death by scramblers...
So ascends the trail under a blazing blue sky.
The crux looks very intimidating from far away. You can either choose a moderate / difficult line on the left or go up one of numerous gullies on the right. I chose the gully about "1 inch" from the left on this picture.
I love this view to the east from the ridge on Cinquefoil. The two differently colored lakes are Jasper (left) and Talbot (right). Edna Lake sneaks into the extreme lower left corner of the photo.
The crux. It's loose and steep but nowhere near as bad as it looks from afar!
You can just make out So on the left side of the easy route on more difficult and exposed terrain.
Making our way to the summit under brilliant skies:
More awesome scenery on the summit ridge:
So at the summit of Cinquefoil Mountain.
Vern on the summit of Cinquefoil Mountain:
The Colin range and Hawk Mountain:
Mount Greenock to the north is a very cool looking mountain!
We were up there a few hours ago! Pyramid Mountain from the summit of Cinquefoil:
Another view of Greenock Mountain on the way down:
The clearcut on the ridge is a bit weird but apparently exists as a fire break? For a pretty small fire though!
A view back up Cinquefoil from our exit point to the highway. This is where I'd park next time and just thrash to the ridge from here directly.