Wonder Peak


Trip Details
Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Trip Date: 
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Summit Elevation (m): 
Summit Elevation (ft): 
Elevation Gain (m): 
Round Trip Time: 
Total Distance (km): 
Quick 'n Easy Rating: 
Class 3 : you fall, you break your leg
Difficulty Notes: 

Mostly an easy scramble on a scree trail - some steep bits just under the summit.


Trip Report
Rod and I set off from the Jones Naiset Cabin around 16:00 on Thursday, September 4th under a mostly cloudy sky. There was very little wind and quite a bit of snow on the surrounding peaks but we were confident we could either scramble up Wonder Peak or The Towers and return before dark. The trail up to Wonder Pass went by quickly and was an easy 200 meters of height gain out of the way.

[Rod starts out the hike from the Naiset Cabins to Wonder Pass. The Towers rise above him, Wonder Peak is out of sight to the left.]

[Looking back at Nub Peak, which we've done earlier in the day]

[The larches are so close to turning! The trail to Wonder Pass is excellent.]

[Rod at Wonder Pass with Wonder Peak to the left.]
At the pass we made the decision to go up Wonder Peak because we could spot an obvious trail snaking up it's lower slopes and The Towers would require a bit more route-finding (basically a side hill bash) before grinding on scree to the top. I would also love to combine Naiset Point with The Towers if I'm going up there anyway and we didn't have time to do both. Wonder Peak is not rocket science to ascend. Simply go climbers left at the pass, descend slightly to the north before skirting some small cliffs and getting onto the mountain proper. Once on the mountain, simply follow trails to the summit mass, or stick to the ridge and go around any obstacles on climber's right. Every time it looks like things are going to be tricky they aren't. I love this about mountains - usually there's a way around the difficulties and that's half the fun of climbing them! The only moderate bit of scrambling is after you contour around the summit block (on the right) and have to get up the last 15 or 20 meters. I actually missed the first opportunity to go up a small gully and ended up coming back to the peak on a small ridge. There was a cool window in this little section, which was fun to discover. When I got to the last 10 vertical meters of the summit block there was only a small, narrow crack to work my way up. It was great fun with pretty solid holds and didn't feel as exposed as it actually was.
[Excellent views to the north of Og Mountain - which we'd do the next day. ++]

[Rod follows me up from Wonder Pass]

[Looking over Wonder Pass at the lower slopes of The Towers - ascent slope rising to the right - with Eon (L) and Aye (R) towering in the bg.]

[Another view north - Nub Peak on the left, Og Mountain on the right]
[Incredible views over Wonder Pass to Gloria, Eon and Aye (L to R) ++]

[The Towers ascent slope looks like only easy scrambling from lower L to upper R]
[The landscape to the north of Wonder looks like a painting! ++]

[The terrain gets snowy - luckily for us, our route is to the right, on southerly slopes which have dried off a bit more]
[Mount Assiniboine's east face looms threateningly over The Towers and Mount Magog.]

[A trail in the scree guides us upwards to the summit.]

[A view towards the Bryant Creek approach with Marvel Peak on the right.]

[Rod comes up behind me as we start to contour around the south side of the summit block.]

[Tele shot of the Royal Group with Mount King George being the most prominent (2nd from left) at 11,228 feet.]

[Lake Magog catches some sun at far left.]

[A window on the ridge just before the summit.]
Rod joined me after only a slight hesitation! The summit view was great but without clouds it would have been mind-blowing. You could see all the way to the big K-Country peaks like Sir Douglas and Joffre and Eon, Aye and Assiniboine were right in our faces. Marvel Lake and Lake Gloria were glittering far beneath and all around us was a plethora of peaks just begging to be summited! I think this area will keep me busy for a while... After clicking a bunch of pics we turned back and descended the crack carefully before plunge-stepping easily down the snowy ridge to the foot of the mountain. Once off of Wonder Peak we came on some very fresh and rather large grizzly tracks in the snow. We cautiously yelled and yodeled our way all the way back to the hut.

[Rod is hidden at the bottom of the crux! Just a wee bit of exposure there... :-)]

[Rod pops onto the small summit of Wonder Peak.]

[The traverse to Cautley looks snowy today.]

[I found a similar register on Mount Assiniboine's summit four years later. Alas - the bottle wasn't in it though... ;)]

[Assiniboine, Rod, Vern (L to R)]

[Mount Joffre catches some sun in the far distance, I climbed it in June of 2014. It's height is 11,319 feet.]

[Mount Sir Douglas is another 11,000er easily visible from Wonder Peak. I climbed it in July 2015. It's height is 11,174 feet.]
[Looking down the Bryant Creek approach valley over Marvel and Turner Mountains on the right. ++]
[An excellent panorama from the summit of Wonder Peak including (L to R), Cautley, Mercer, Cone, Turner, Marvel, Byng, Aurora, Sir Douglas, King George, Joffre, Gloria, Eon, Aye and Lunette on the far right - among many others of course! ++]

[Heading back down with Eon and Aye looming over Lake Gloria in the bg.]
[Gorgeous panorama over Assiniboine Meadows with The Towers at left and Cautley at right. Nub Peak at center left. ++]

[Fresh Grizzly diggings at Wonder Pass]

[Rod walks back to our hut - the cook shelter visible here.]
A ranger came by a bit later and confirmed that there were two grizzlies up in the Wonder Pass area, a young, unafraid male and a very large but cautious sow. If you're in the Assiniboine area, Wonder Peak is truly wonderful and only took us just over 3 hours round-trip from the Naiset huts. If you have more energy you can do Wonder Peak, Cascade and Gibralter Rocks and Mount Cautley in one loop of moderate scrambling. You can bet I'll be back to give that a shot sometime soon!

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