Loaf Mountain


Trip Details
Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Trip Date: 
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Summit Elevation (m): 
Summit Elevation (ft): 
Elevation Gain (m): 
Total Distance (km): 
Difficulty Notes: 

No difficulties, mostly hiking on grassy slopes with trails.

Trip Report

On Saturday, October 18th 2008 Wietse, Naomi and I tagged the summit of Loaf Mountain in the East Castle area, just north of Waterton National Park. Due to a seasonal closure of the road that leads to the normal trail head, we had to walk an additional 4km each way from a locked gate. This resulted in more exercise but also prevented us from bagging more than one peak, simply because time and energy wouldn't allow for it. (You can do Spionkop Ridge along with Loaf if you have the energy / time. You can also to Drywood Mountain and Loaf if you're so inspired.)


Despite the long walk on an uninspiring road, the trip was still worth it. The easy road hiking allows for deep conversation. All the larches had lost their needles in the strong winds but the colorful rocks and vegetation was still a treat for the eyes. Following Nugara's trip description worked great and we encountered no difficulties. We went a short ways (5-10 minutes) after a large waterfall in the creek before crossing the creek easily and heading up easy-angled slopes.


[Wietse and Naomi walk along the first 4km of boring road. If you wait till this is open you won't have to walk it. I would highly recommend a bike for the first 6 or 7 kms.]

[Looking ahead to the colorful Loaf in the distance at left. Drywood on the right here.]

[Sheep hunters on horseback.]

[A wider view of the sheep hunters. The end of Loaf's ridge seen in the background.]

[Wietse hikes beside the creek that we will shortly cross. An outlier of Loaf Mountain in the background.]

[Great views down South Drywood Creek with Drywood looming on the left.]

[Lovely, clear water in South Drywood Creek as we cross it.]

[Naomi and a dead tree with Drywood above her head here.]

[Wietse and Naomi with Drywood in the background.]

[Very interesting terrain with soaring cliffs, dead trees and extremely colorful rock.]

[Loaf Mountain in the distance as we work our way up the colorful access slopes to the east.]

[Easy access slopes but with cliffs surrounding us.]

[Wietse and Naomi follow my along the bumpy summit ridge of Loaf.]

[One of my favorite shots from the entire Castle / Crown Wilderness Area - incredible lines and colors in this view towards Loaf Mountain. ++]

[Drywood Mountain is another impressive summit in this area.]

[A great view of the NE face of Loaf Mountain. ++]

[The distinctive summit of Castle Peak.]

[Almost there! Easy slopes to the summit.]

[Wietse and Naomi follow me up with Drywood at left.]


The wind was brutal but thankfully the temperatures were very warm (12 degrees at 08:00) so even though it was cool on the summit we could enjoy some views before escaping down the west slopes and contouring back toward the trail heading up to Boivin Lake. We met some hunters on horseback throughout the day - they were looking for sheep but I still felt good about wearing my bright orange jacket! They seemed impressed by our route choice and expressed amazement at the distance we walked.


[Boivin Lake with Victoria Ridge, Windsor Mountain and Castle Peak in the background.]

[Looking south (L) and west (R) off the summit towards Glendowan, Spionkop Ridge, Newman, Avion Ridge and Sage. ++]

[Looking east down the ridge of Loaf with Drywood on the left and an outlier of Spionkop on the right. ++]

[Castle Peak]


We briefly considered tagging Spionkop Ridge but the incredibly strong wind discouraged us from summing the energy to bother. Since Spionkop can be combined with Newman Peak and Avion Ridge we thought we'd save it for another day. 


[Another view of Boivin Lake as we descend to the col before taking the obvious cut line to the right.]


The long hike back to the car from Boivin Lake was uneventful and filled with good conversation. I would recommend this peak for a day when other areas might be out of season or as a two peak day with either Spionkop or Drywood Mountain. On its own its just a really long hike, albeit a rather pleasant one.


[Looking back at the easy summit slope of Loaf.]

[Great views west down the Castle River with Sage and Matkin on th left and Windsor Ridge on the right.]

[At the col looking down our exit valley with Drywood right of center.]

[Heading down the cutline.]

[Frozen waterfall.]

[A long, but easy, walk back along South Drywood Creek.]

[Nice color and texture in the terrain coming off Drywood Peak as we exit the valley.]

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