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Bosworth, Mount

Summit Elevation (m): 2771
Elevation Gain (m): 1150 
Trip Time (hr): 6
Total Trip Distance (km): 7
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 3/4 – you fall, you break something or worse
Difficulty Notes: A fall on the crux would severely injure or kill so take necessary precautions.
Technical Rating: SC7; YDS (4th)
GPS Track: Download
Map: Google Maps


On Saturday, September 20th 2008, Keith, JW and I scrambled up Mount Bosworth in beautiful, sunny weather – the summer weather we never had in 2008! Originally we were supposed to be making an attempt at North Victoria Peak on this day but since the weather forecast was pretty good we decided to wait for a cloudy day to enjoy that 11,000er. In case you’re having a slow day and missed the sarcasm, there was actually other reasons for not attempting North Vic this day. I was still sore from my Mistaya / Cauldron outing on Wednesday and JW was feeling a bit gun-shy after a close call with falling rock on Mount Louis that same Wednesday. Maybe very fortunate timing because a friend did Narao Peak on Saturday and claimed to see fresh avalanche evidence right near the rock step on North Victoria. I waited another 7 years and bagged it in 2015.

Mount Bosworth Route Map

We all met in Calgary and JW drove through Banff and then 2.3 km past the Yoho National Park sign before parking alongside the highway. The weather was gorgeous already this early in the morning and we could tell that we were going to have a very nice day for this late in the season. The first challenge was figuring out which gully was the actual ascent gully. There was a choice of two and we chose the left one, knowing that it was probably not the Kane route, but liking the way the rock looked. It was solid and steep. In keeping with our Fisher Peak policy, difficult scrambles can be made easier if you first go up some terrain (off route) below the crux that is actually harder than the crux! The crux seems less of a big deal that way. This was no different. I followed JW up some low 5th class rock. Eventually, after two or three small rock bands, we worked our way climber’s right onto the normal Kane route and then up and around the first buttress below the ridge on Bosworth.

Bosworth is a fun mountain, but horribly loose. The day after we climbed it there was a rock fall in the area that covered the trans-Canada highway. We probably started that slide on Saturday already! You’d think with all the avalanches that run off it in the winter, the loose rock would be off by now, but such is not the case. Don’t do this mountain with a large group – you’ll regret it.

Views off the east ridge past Waputik Peak towards Mount Hector.
The east ridge has some spectacular positions.

After the first buttress, we traversed rubbly slopes under another buttress before angling up towards the ridge. Once on the ridge we pretty much climbed over any other obstacles (upper moderate to difficult scrambling) before coming to the final black cliff defending the summit. This final bit was exposed and difficult scrambling but was very solid compared to the rest of this heap of choss! We really enjoyed all the difficult scrambling on Bosworth because it felt safer than the moderate / loose terrain – you just couldn’t fall on the difficult stuff.

Approaching the black cliff guarding the summit. We scrambled right over the buttress before the black cliff band and got to experience way more difficult (but solid) scrambling that way.

The views were stunning the whole way up – although slightly marred by smoke / haze. As you get higher and higher (and I’m not referring to the weed that the boys from Golden were smoking at the summit here), you get better views of Cathedral, Stephen, Victoria, Collier, Daly, the Wapta peaks, Hector and other summits.

JW just pulled out a rappel / belay pin with fresh cord attached to it. It wasn’t very hard to pull out. A good reminder to triple check your anchors in the Canadian Chossies.

We finished the climb with a “Mount Cline lunge” (interesting notch in the ridge) and settled in for a long summit stay since it was warm and windless at the cairn. The views had the potential to be some of the best around, even though Bosworth is relatively short compared to all of its neighbors, but the smoke or haze ruined the panorama a bit. We took our time exploring the summit area (so who put that stupid ‘Permit’ sign there anyway?!) and reading the register. Apparently there are a few ways up and down this heap of rock – none sounded quite as much fun as our route up though.

Great views up Bath Creek including Niles (L), Daly, Waputik and Hector.
Views west include Goodsirs (L), Odaray, Cathedral, Stephen, Ogden, Field, Wapta, Carnarvon, Presidents, Niles (R) and many others.

After 1.5 hours (that’s the record for me this summer) at the top we reluctantly headed back. At first we tried the gully right under the summit but it was very loose with slabby terrain and just wasn’t fun so we traversed back to the ridge and down climbed our ascent route. JW and Keith insisted that we try the gully further to the east than the Kane gully (OK, maybe it was my suggestion) so we ended up doing a bit more side-hilling and bushwhacking than necessary on the way back.

We spotted a cool waterfall and drank some clean, cold steam water on the way back which was perfect timing. The fall colors were also more prominent in our descent gully than on the way up. One very weird discovery on the way down left us a bit puzzled. What was a 7 iron doing on the descend route? Keith found it and I lugged it down on my backpack. This mountain seems to be a bit of a dumping ground for random bits of trash! The summit has a “Permit” sign and some wire and re-bar, and the descent route has old golf clubs?! WTF man?

Descending towards Sink Lake with Ross Lake barely visible under Divide Mountain. Niblock, Whyte and Popes Peak visible beyond.

My advice would be to follow our route up small cliff bands on the lower mountain (there were some cairns so we aren’t the only ones to go this way) and the Kane route down this lower section. If you are uncomfortable on the lower section of ‘our’ route, you should just turn around – you certainly won’t like the upper mountain! Traversing too far skiers left on the way down is only complicating things unnecessarily, something I’ve learned to love this year.

Brilliant fall colors showing up as we descend.

Mount Bosworth is a highly recommended scramble, lots of hands-on scrambling and views that are hard to beat with no approach and a short day.

Mount Bosworth
In the lower access gully.
In the lower access gully.
Amazing fall colors towards Cathedral Mountain on the approach to the cliff bands.
Amazing fall colors towards Cathedral Mountain on the approach to the cliff bands.
Getting into the first cliffband.
Getting into the first cliffband.
Getting into the first cliffband.
Getting into the first cliffband.
The cliff bands were mercifully solid, but steep and difficult scrambling in places.
The cliff bands were mercifully solid, but steep and difficult scrambling in places.
We aimed climbers right here and broke through the upper cliff band in the upper center of the photograph where you can spot a weakness.
We aimed climbers right here and broke through the upper cliff band in the upper center of the photograph where you can spot a weakness.
We aimed climbers right here and broke through the upper cliff band in the upper center of the photograph where you can spot a weakness.
We aimed climbers right here and broke through the upper cliff band in the upper center of the photograph where you can spot a weakness.
The weakness just above JW here.
The weakness just above JW here.
In the south drainage.
In the south drainage.
Scree bash, back on the Kane route.
Scree bash, back on the Kane route.
In the south drainage heading up to the east ridge.
In the south drainage heading up to the east ridge.
Nearing the east ridge.
Nearing the east ridge.
Nearing the east ridge - still on loose scree.
Nearing the east ridge - still on loose scree.
Cool chunk of rock - could see right through it.
Cool chunk of rock - could see right through it.
On the east ridge, looking over Bath Creek towards Waputik Peak.
On the east ridge, looking over Bath Creek towards Waputik Peak.
On the east ridge, looking over Bath Creek towards Waputik Peak.
On the east ridge, looking over Bath Creek towards Waputik Peak.
Scrambling the east ridge of Bosworth.
Scrambling the east ridge of Bosworth.
Scrambling the east ridge of Bosworth.
Scrambling the east ridge of Bosworth.
Scrambling the east ridge of Bosworth.
Scrambling the east ridge of Bosworth.
JW approaching the black cliff guarding the summit.
JW approaching the black cliff guarding the summit.
We scrambled right over the buttress before the black cliff band.
We scrambled right over the buttress before the black cliff band.
JW clowning around. What you can't see is how he pulled off this pose!
JW clowning around. What you can't see is how he pulled off this pose!
Scrambling the east ridge of Bosworth.
Scrambling the east ridge of Bosworth.
JW just pulled out a rappel / belay pin with fresh cord attached to it. It wasn't very hard to pull out.
JW just pulled out a rappel / belay pin with fresh cord attached to it. It wasn't very hard to pull out.
JW just pulled out a rappel / belay pin with fresh cord attached to it. It wasn't very hard to pull out.
JW just pulled out a rappel / belay pin with fresh cord attached to it. It wasn't very hard to pull out.
Views to Popes and North Victoria.
Views to Popes and North Victoria.
Scrambling the east ridge of Bosworth.
Scrambling the east ridge of Bosworth.
Scrambling the east ridge of Bosworth.
Scrambling the east ridge of Bosworth.
Almost at the summit.
Almost at the summit.
The "Cline move". I didn't get a good shot of the exposure, but it's not quite a "Cline exposure" her
The "Cline move". I didn't get a good shot of the exposure, but it's not quite a "Cline exposure" her
Toy trains.
Toy trains.
Cathedral Mountain and Crags as seen from the summit of Mount Bosworth.
Cathedral Mountain and Crags as seen from the summit of Mount Bosworth.
Views over Paget and Ogden towards Stephen (L), Field and Wapta.
Views over Paget and Ogden towards Stephen (L), Field and Wapta.
Views up Bath Creek to Niles and Daly (R).
Views up Bath Creek to Niles and Daly (R).
JW reads the register.
JW reads the register.
Ross Lake barely visible under Divide Mountain. Popes and North Vic in the haze.
Ross Lake barely visible under Divide Mountain. Popes and North Vic in the haze.
Views towards Cathedral Mountain over Wapta Lake.
Views towards Cathedral Mountain over Wapta Lake.
The Presidents (L), Niles and Daly.
The Presidents (L), Niles and Daly.
That's where we were supposed to be! North Victoria Peak.
That's where we were supposed to be! North Victoria Peak.
Popes, Lefroy and Victoria.
Popes, Lefroy and Victoria.
Views up Cataract Brook past Park Mountain (L) to the Goodsirs.
Views up Cataract Brook past Park Mountain (L) to the Goodsirs.
Keith enjoys a perfect summer summit.
Keith enjoys a perfect summer summit.
Mount Hector (R) and Little Hector.
Mount Hector (R) and Little Hector.
Ogden forms an impressive wall of rock to the west.
Ogden forms an impressive wall of rock to the west.
Mounts Carnarvon, President and Vice President (L to R).
Mounts Carnarvon, President and Vice President (L to R).
Niles and Daly.
Niles and Daly.
Great views up Bath Creek including Niles (L), Daly, Waputik and Hector.
Great views up Bath Creek including Niles (L), Daly, Waputik and Hector.
Views west include Goodsirs (L), Odaray, Cathedral, Stephen, Ogden, Field, Wapta, Carnarvon, Presidents, Niles (R) and many others.
Views west include Goodsirs (L), Odaray, Cathedral, Stephen, Ogden, Field, Wapta, Carnarvon, Presidents, Niles (R) and many others.
The President and Vice President show up through the Permits sign.
The President and Vice President show up through the Permits sign.
Mount Hector (L) and South Hector. Drummond barely visible at right.
Mount Hector (L) and South Hector. Drummond barely visible at right.
Descending the east ridge.
Descending the east ridge.
This is much more exposed but also much more solid! This is where the anchor was used (or at least placed) on.
This is much more exposed but also much more solid! This is where the anchor was used (or at least placed) on.
This is much more exposed but also much more solid! This is where the anchor was used (or at least placed) on.
This is much more exposed but also much more solid! This is where the anchor was used (or at least placed) on.
Descending the east ridge.
Descending the east ridge.
Descending the east ridge.
Descending the east ridge.
Descending the east ridge.
Descending the east ridge.
Descending the east ridge.
Descending the east ridge.
Peeling off the ridge to the south bowl.
Peeling off the ridge to the south bowl.
Descending south slopes to the TCH.
Descending south slopes to the TCH.
Descending south slopes to the TCH.
Descending south slopes to the TCH.
Descending south slopes to the TCH.
Descending south slopes to the TCH.
Descending south slopes to the TCH and Sink Lake.
Descending south slopes to the TCH and Sink Lake.
Descending a manky gully to the TCH.
Descending a manky gully to the TCH.
Descending a manky gully to the TCH.
Descending a manky gully to the TCH.
Too far left but at least we have colors and a stream!
Too far left but at least we have colors and a stream!
Even some small waterfalls to break the monotony of rough terrain.
Even some small waterfalls to break the monotony of rough terrain.
Descending lower south slopes.
Descending lower south slopes.
Descending lower south slopes.
Descending lower south slopes.
Apparently JW called 911 and they weren't impressed when he didn't pick up their return call!
Apparently JW called 911 and they weren't impressed when he didn't pick up their return call!

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