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Blakiston, Mount & Hawkins & Lineham (Hawkins Horseshoe)

Summit Elevation (m): 2910
Trip Date: Saturday, September 3, 2005
Elevation Gain (m): 2050
Round Trip Time (hr): unknown
Total Trip Distance (km): 22 
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2/3 – you fall, you break something
Difficulty Notes: This was done as part of a three peak, high-line traverse involving loose scree, moderate scrambling and intense winds.
Technical Rating: SC6; YDS (3rd)
Map: Google Maps


On September 3 2005 I dragged my brother, Rod and two of my cousins, Tony and Jon up and around the Hawkins Horseshoe in Waterton National Park. It was a clear but extremely windy day. I must admit that all of them performed admirably, especially my brother who was on about 2 hours of sleep due to a screwed up Air Canada flight.

Hawkins Horseshoe Route Map

I have to be honest about this scramble. Although it was a clear day I didn’t think that this was the best scramble I’ve ever done. The views were outstanding all day but the wind was so strong that we couldn’t even talk to each other without yelling at the top of our voices. The roaring sound in my ears wasn’t too pleasant after 3 hours! The scrambling isn’t too technical so you don’t have that to distract you from the never ending series of ‘bumps’ on the ridge.

That being said I do recommend doing these three peaks in the same go. Blakiston is quite the trudge (and the highest peak in Waterton) but if you look you can find some interesting scramble bits. Near the top of the scree slope there is a trail right up through the cliff face that is moderate hands-on scrambling. That was the best part for me all day! After signing the summit register, we continued on the ridge towards Hawkins and Lineham peaks.

Incredible views along the horseshoe over Lineham Creek and Falls to the lakes. Mount Lineham at left.
Rod and Jon negotiating the moderate scrambling crux on Blakiston.
Jon comes up to the summit with Peabody (L), Kinnerly, Kintla, Long Knife and Akamina Ridge in the distance.

Along the ridge from Blakiston to Hawkins there is a series of good scrambling sections, but the rest of the day is one long plod – in our case in mind-numbing wind. My cousin, Jon, also had to ‘bag’ every high point along the whole ridge which is why our total height gain is more than listed in Kane’s book. 🙂

Long Knife, Kishinena Ridge, King Edward and Starvation Peak.
On the ridge between Blakiston and Hawkins.

From Hawkins to Lineham is a bit of a blur in my memory banks. I blame it on the wind which was absolutely relentless. Honestly, Waterton would be so much more enjoyable without it! The route was obvious and easy between Hawkins and Lineham.

Glendowan (L), Cloudy, Dungarvon, Blakiston, Crandell, Lineham (R).
Jon continues the horseshoe from Hawkins to Lineham with Kintla, Long Knife, Kishinena Ridge, King Edward and Starvation Peak in the bg.

After finally ascending Mount Lineham we were pleasantly surprised by the excellent scree ski that took us down to the Tamarack Trail. Note that when you are heading down the lower slopes of Lineham you should angle left down the clearest part of the gully and you will connect with the trail. There was a lot of recent bear sign in the Rowe Creek valley.

Views back along the horseshoe to Hawkins (L) and Blakiston (R).
Views back towards Mount Hawkins over one of the Lineham Lakes.
An easy ramble to the summit of Mount Lineham.

On the walk back along the Akamina Parkway from the Rowe Lakes to the Lineham Creek parking lots Rod started feeling a bit woozy thanks to no sleep and instant and maximum exertion. We fed him some food and Gatorade and he recovered enough to stumble to the car.

Hawkins Horseshoe (Blakiston | Hawkins | Lineham)
On the Lineham Creek / Falls trail.
On the Lineham Creek / Falls trail.
Looking back across Lineham Creek to Mount Lineham from lower Blakiston.
Looking back across Lineham Creek to Mount Lineham from lower Blakiston.
A steep scree slope up the huge south gully on Blakiston.
A steep scree slope up the huge south gully on Blakiston.
Incredible views along the horseshoe over Lineham Creek and Falls to the lakes.
Incredible views along the horseshoe over Lineham Creek and Falls to the lakes.
The south scree slope is huge.
The south scree slope is huge.
Ascending the south scree slope on Blakiston.
Ascending the south scree slope on Blakiston.
Long Knife (L), King Edward and Starvation in the distance over the Lineham Lakes.
Long Knife (L), King Edward and Starvation in the distance over the Lineham Lakes.
Ascending through a moderate red band on the south aspect of Blakiston.
Ascending through a moderate red band on the south aspect of Blakiston.
Steep cliffs on Blakiston.
Steep cliffs on Blakiston.
Looking off the upper ascent slopes of Blakiston towards Dungarvon Peak (C).
Looking off the upper ascent slopes of Blakiston towards Dungarvon Peak (C).
Ascending through a moderate red band on the south aspect of Blakiston.
Ascending through a moderate red band on the south aspect of Blakiston.
Steep cliffs on Blakiston.
Steep cliffs on Blakiston.
Negotiating the moderate scrambling crux on Blakiston.
Negotiating the moderate scrambling crux on Blakiston.
Rod and Jon negotiating the moderate scrambling crux on Blakiston.
Rod and Jon negotiating the moderate scrambling crux on Blakiston.
Jon comes up to the summit with Peabody (L), Kinnerly, Kintla, Long Knife and Akamina Ridge in the distance.
Jon comes up to the summit with Peabody (L), Kinnerly, Kintla, Long Knife and Akamina Ridge in the distance.
Tony on the summit.
Tony on the summit.
Tony and Jon on the summit.
Tony and Jon on the summit.
Ruby Ridge and Ruby Lake lie to the SE and east of the summit.
Ruby Ridge and Ruby Lake lie to the SE and east of the summit.
Long Knife, Kishinena Ridge, King Edward and Starvation Peak.
Long Knife, Kishinena Ridge, King Edward and Starvation Peak.
On the summit of Blakiston.
On the summit of Blakiston.
Kinnerly and Kintla at right with Peabody and left and the Agassiz Glacier in between.
Kinnerly and Kintla at right with Peabody and left and the Agassiz Glacier in between.
Starting down the ridge from Blakiston to Hawkins.
Starting down the ridge from Blakiston to Hawkins.
On the ridge between Blakiston and Hawkins.
On the ridge between Blakiston and Hawkins.
On the ridge between Blakiston and Hawkins.
On the ridge between Blakiston and Hawkins.
Looking back at Mount Blakiston.
Looking back at Mount Blakiston.
On the ridge between Blakiston and Hawkins.
On the ridge between Blakiston and Hawkins.
On the ridge between Blakiston and Hawkins.
On the ridge between Blakiston and Hawkins.
On the ridge between Blakiston and Hawkins.
On the ridge between Blakiston and Hawkins.
On the ridge between Blakiston and Hawkins.
On the ridge between Blakiston and Hawkins.
Traversing Hawkins Horseshoe.
Traversing Hawkins Horseshoe.
Traversing Hawkins Horseshoe.
Traversing Hawkins Horseshoe.
Looking down at the many Lineham Lakes.
Looking down at the many Lineham Lakes.
Traversing Hawkins Horseshoe.
Traversing Hawkins Horseshoe.
Festubert Mountain lies across the Blakiston Creek valley from Mount Hawkins.
Festubert Mountain lies across the Blakiston Creek valley from Mount Hawkins.
Festubert Mountain lies across the Blakiston Creek valley from Mount Hawkins.
Festubert Mountain lies across the Blakiston Creek valley from Mount Hawkins.
On the summit of Mount Hawkins.
On the summit of Mount Hawkins.
Mount Blakiston.
Mount Blakiston.
Glendowan (L), Cloudy, Dungarvon, Blakiston, Crandell, Lineham (R).
Glendowan (L), Cloudy, Dungarvon, Blakiston, Crandell, Lineham (R).
Blakiston and Lineham with many other peaks in the bg.
Blakiston and Lineham with many other peaks in the bg.
Jon continues the horseshoe from Hawkins to Lineham.
Jon continues the horseshoe from Hawkins to Lineham.
Sofa and Chief Mountain show up over Buchanan Ridge East.
Sofa and Chief Mountain show up over Buchanan Ridge East.
Other hikers on the ridge.
Other hikers on the ridge.
Hiking the horseshoe from Hawkins to Mount Lineham.
Hiking the horseshoe from Hawkins to Mount Lineham.
Views back along the horseshoe to Hawkins (L) and Blakiston (R).
Views back along the horseshoe to Hawkins (L) and Blakiston (R).
Hiking the horseshoe from Hawkins to Mount Lineham.
Hiking the horseshoe from Hawkins to Mount Lineham.
Hiking the horseshoe from Hawkins to Mount Lineham.
Hiking the horseshoe from Hawkins to Mount Lineham.
Views back towards Hawkins over one of the Lineham Lakes.
Views back towards Hawkins over one of the Lineham Lakes.
Hiking the horseshoe from Hawkins to Mount Lineham.
Hiking the horseshoe from Hawkins to Mount Lineham.
The ascent slopes on Blakiston look steep from Mount Lineham!
The ascent slopes on Blakiston look steep from Mount Lineham!
Finally on the summit of Mount Lineham.
Finally on the summit of Mount Lineham.
Looking back up the south face of Mount Lineham.
Looking back up the south face of Mount Lineham.
Looking back up the south face of Mount Lineham.
Looking back up the south face of Mount Lineham.

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