logo

Cirque Peak

Summit Elevation (m): 2993
Trip Date: Saturday, July 03, 2004
Round Trip Time (hr): Unknown
Elevation Gain (m): 1010
Total Trip Distance (km): 18
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 3/4 – you fall, you break something or worse
Difficulty Notes: Mostly an easy hike, some exposure on the final bit to the true summit.
Technical Rating: SC5; YDS (3rd)
Map: Google Maps


What a day! We dragged the kids all the way to Helen Lake! Actually they did very amazing. KC must have hiked about 4km in and 1000ft of height gain and Niko went about 700ft of gain and 3km in. On the way back they only went in the carriers for part of the way. I’m very impressed. This was a warm up hike for our upcoming backpacking trip into the Ramparts this September. Hanneke and I are going with some others so she wanted to make sure that she did some hiking before the trip.

Cirque Peak Route Map

We could not have picked a nicer day. It was 25+ degrees and there weren’t too many clouds around. We even spotted a grizzly on the way back but it was a LONG ways off. The kids couldn’t even pick it out. It was closer to the trail but must have wandered away before we got closer. The kids were disappointed but Hann and I were a bit relieved! There was a lot of people on the trail so we didn’t feel threatened at all.

Views over Dolomite Creek (L) to Observation, Quill, Loudon, Siffleur, Perren, Simpson, Recondite, Bobac, Willingdon Watermelon, Puzzle (R).
Views include Puzzle (L), Dolomite, Hector, Bow, BowCrow, Crowfoot, Gordon, Collie, Portal, Thompson and Baker (R).

While Hanneke and the kids took a breather at Helen Lake I continued on to bag Cirque Peak. It took me about 1:40 to go up and down so I was pushing it pretty good (Especially after biking 160+ km for the past two weeks in a row). The ascent was very easy with some scrambling right at the very top. There is some loose stuff but no real exposure if you pick your line to the summit correctly. A highly recommended hike / scramble for any clear day – the views are fabulous!

Cirque Peak
44 photos
The approach trail to Helen Lake is pretty easy.
The approach trail to Helen Lake is pretty easy.
The approach trail to Helen Lake is pretty easy.
The approach trail to Helen Lake is pretty easy.
Niko bounding up the trail, trying to catch his mom and sister. Let's see how long this lasts. :)
Niko bounding up the trail, trying to catch his mom and sister. Let's see how long this lasts. 🙂
The approach trail to Helen Lake is pretty easy.
The approach trail to Helen Lake is pretty easy.
Looking back across the parkway to Crowfoot Mountain.
Looking back across the parkway to Crowfoot Mountain.
The trail rounds the south end of Crystal Ridge.
The trail rounds the south end of Crystal Ridge.
The trail rounds the south end of Crystal Ridge with views of Dolomite Peak now.
The trail rounds the south end of Crystal Ridge with views of Dolomite Peak now.
The route up Dolomite.
The route up Dolomite.
Dolomite Peak lies across Helen Creek.
Dolomite Peak lies across Helen Creek.
This is the upper meadow when you're still about 2km from the mountain, about 1.5 from Helen Lake.
This is the upper meadow when you're still about 2km from the mountain, about 1.5 from Helen Lake.
The upper meadow as you get even closer to Helen Lake, Cirque in the background. This is where you could spot a grizzly.
The upper meadow as you get even closer to Helen Lake, Cirque in the background. This is where you could spot a grizzly.
Approaching the Helen Creek crossing.
Approaching the Helen Creek crossing.
Crossing Helen Creek.
Crossing Helen Creek.
Hiking the lovely alpine meadows.
Hiking the lovely alpine meadows.
Hiking the lovely alpine meadows.
Hiking the lovely alpine meadows.
Helen Lake.
Helen Lake.
Helen Lake with Cirque Peak rising beyond.
Helen Lake with Cirque Peak rising beyond.
The trail around the lake heading up to the shoulder.
The trail around the lake heading up to the shoulder.
Lovely Helen Lake with Crystal Ridge and Crowfoot Mountain rising beyond.
Lovely Helen Lake with Crystal Ridge and Crowfoot Mountain rising beyond.
Lake Helen.
Lake Helen.
The route to the top is obvious from on top of the pass, which is gained above Helen Lake.
The route to the top is obvious from on top of the pass, which is gained above Helen Lake.
Looking back over the slightly lower false summit to Iceberg Lake, Collie and des Poilus.
Looking back over the slightly lower false summit to Iceberg Lake, Collie and des Poilus.
Crowfoot Pass in the distance over the south end of Crystal Ridge.
Crowfoot Pass in the distance over the south end of Crystal Ridge.
Mount Hector and Dolomite Peak.
Mount Hector and Dolomite Peak.
Puzzle (OXO) at left along with Cataract. McConnell in the far distance.
Puzzle (OXO) at left along with Cataract. McConnell in the far distance.
Incredible views over Lake Katherine to Dolomite Peak.
Incredible views over Lake Katherine to Dolomite Peak.
Views over the false summit to Bow Lake and the Wapta Icefield.
Views over the false summit to Bow Lake and the Wapta Icefield.
Looking down Dolomite Creek to Quill (L), Peskett (C) and Siffleur Mountain.
Looking down Dolomite Creek to Quill (L), Peskett (C) and Siffleur Mountain.
Views over Dolomite Creek to Quill, Siffleur, Recondite, Willingdon, Bobac, Watermelon, Puzzle (R)
Views over Dolomite Creek to Quill, Siffleur, Recondite, Willingdon, Bobac, Watermelon, Puzzle (R)
Patterson rises over Peyto Lake.
Patterson rises over Peyto Lake.
Puzzle (L), Dolomite, Hector, Bow, BowCrow, Crowfoot, Collie, Portal, Thompson (R).
Puzzle (L), Dolomite, Hector, Bow, BowCrow, Crowfoot, Collie, Portal, Thompson (R).
Perren, Simpson, Recondite, Bobac, Willingdon, Crown, Tower, Watermelon.
Perren, Simpson, Recondite, Bobac, Willingdon, Crown, Tower, Watermelon.
Crowfoot and the Wapta Icefield rise over Crystal Ridge (L). Chephren, Observation (R).
Crowfoot and the Wapta Icefield rise over Crystal Ridge (L). Chephren, Observation (R).
BowCrow (L) and Crowfoot with Balfour at right.
BowCrow (L) and Crowfoot with Balfour at right.
Des Poilus (L), Collie, Portal, Rhondda and Thompson (R).
Des Poilus (L), Collie, Portal, Rhondda and Thompson (R).
Stunning views over Lake Helen and Crystal Ridge to Bow, BowCrow and Crowfoot Mountain.
Stunning views over Lake Helen and Crystal Ridge to Bow, BowCrow and Crowfoot Mountain.
Lake Helen.
Lake Helen.
Looking back up the easy ascent ridge.
Looking back up the easy ascent ridge.
Looking back up the easy ascent ridge.
Looking back up the easy ascent ridge.
Descending to Helen Lake.
Descending to Helen Lake.
Descending to Helen Lake.
Descending to Helen Lake.
Fat Marmots love the Helen Lake area. Grizzlies love fat Marmots!
Fat Marmots love the Helen Lake area. Grizzlies love fat Marmots!
The kids run back towards me as I round Helen Lake.
The kids run back towards me as I round Helen Lake.
Descending back around Crystal Ridge.
Descending back around Crystal Ridge.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.