Summit Elevation (m): 2760
Elevation Gain (m): 950
Trip Time (hr): 3
Total Trip Distance (km): 11
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 4 – you fall, you break something or worse
Difficulty Notes: The crux is exposed and a fall will kill you – only do if dry and confident.
Technical Rating: SC7; YDS (4th)
GPS Track: Download
Map: Google Maps
After scrambling Mount Pilot and Brett the day before and driving all the way to Elkwood campground in Kananaskis I was ready for a shorter and easier day. I chose to finally do Mount Burstall since it had been on my radar for a long time already.
There is no magic to getting this peak. Make sure you’re far enough up the trail before venturing up the valley – you should be on a faint trail the entire way. When I did this peak there was an obvious cairn and some flagging. I’ve read of people venturing up the climber’s right side to access the col but this is usually regretted by those who attempt it. The terrain is steeper and more exposed than it looks from below. I went on the rock rib that you see between the two black scree slopes and this worked really well.
I was surprised by the loose and steep terrain after the col. This is certainly a difficult scramble with no room for error pretty much from the col to the summit. I thought the crack was safer than a lot of the terrain that proceeded it simply because I didn’t feel like I was going to slip out of the solid rock in the crack!
The summit was nice but with a rain cloud heading my way I felt a little rushed the whole time I was on Burstall.
My round trip time was just over 3 hours and it did end up raining just to the east – and you really don’t want rain on this little peak. Great views from the top and interesting scrambling with a very short round trip time – I highly recommend this peak to competent scramblers.