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Crowfoot, Little

Summit Elevation (m): 2800
Elevation Gain (m): 900
Round Trip Time (hr): 6
Total Trip Distance (km): 16
Quick ‘n Easy Rating: Class 2 – You fall you sprain your wrist. If you’re caught in an avalanche you could also hurt or die.
Difficulty Notes: Winter ascent includes serious avalanche risks. Learn how to manage these risks and perform avalanche burial rescues before attempting this trip.
Technical Rating: OT3; YDS (Skiing)
MapGoogle Maps


On Friday, February 17 2012, Wietse and I decided to take the day off work and bag another peak after our great experience on Patterson a week earlier. Originally we were thinking of Mount Gordon. I’ve already skied that peak, but it was -26 with an extreme windchill and no views so I want to repeat it in gorgeous conditions some time. Once we got closer to the date we decided we didn’t want such a long day and settled on Little Crowfoot mountain instead. Wietse didn’t think this was an ‘official’ summit but since Chic Scott mentions it in his guidebook he agreed that it was official enough to bother with. 🙂

Little Crowfoot Route Map

The route is exactly the same as for Crowfoot Mountain except you stay climber’s right as much as possible. It was much more of a summit than we expected and came in at a 900 meter height gain from the parking lot! The views were sublime from the top, especially towards Balfour and the southern Wapta peaks. This minor sub peak of Crowfoot Mountain was much more engaging than we expected and I highly recommend it. Our run down was fast and fun.

A very clear, but also very chilly, morning at Bow Lake.
A very clear, but also very chilly, morning at Bow Lake.
Looking back at Wietse on our crossing of Bow Lake, you can see morning clouds hanging over the lake.
Looking back at Wietse on our crossing of Bow Lake, you can see morning clouds hanging over the lake.
High winds whip snow off The Onion.
High winds whip snow off The Onion.
View towards Bow Falls and Portal Peak on the upper right - one of the only scrambles on the Wapta Icefield.
View towards Bow Falls and Portal Peak on the upper right - one of the only scrambles on the Wapta Icefield.
The canyon had slightly less snow than usual.
The canyon had slightly less snow than usual.
Looking back as Wietse comes out of the approach canyon. Jimmy Simpson in the bg.
Looking back as Wietse comes out of the approach canyon. Jimmy Simpson in the bg.
Approaching the place where we'll turn left instead of the usual right hand turn towards the Bow Hut. Vulture on the left, St. Nicholas at upper right.
Approaching the place where we'll turn left instead of the usual right hand turn towards the Bow Hut. Vulture on the left, St. Nicholas at upper right.
Looking back at the Bow Hut with St. Nicholas on the left as we work our way up the canyon across from it.
Looking back at the Bow Hut with St. Nicholas on the left as we work our way up the canyon across from it.
A bright ribbon guides us to a small height loss (PITA on return!) before the Crowfoot Moraines.
A bright ribbon guides us to a small height loss (PITA on return!) before the Crowfoot Moraines.
Wietse comes up behind me.
Wietse comes up behind me.
Following tracks makes our life easier.
Following tracks makes our life easier.
Looking ahead to the col. Crowfoot mountain on the left and Little Crowfoot on the right.
Looking ahead to the col. Crowfoot mountain on the left and Little Crowfoot on the right.
Telephoto panorama of the But Hut with St. Nicholas on the left and The Onion on the right.
Telephoto panorama of the But Hut with St. Nicholas on the left and The Onion on the right.
Wietse comes up to the Crowfoot Glacier with Portal, Thompson and Jimmy Simpson (L to R) in the bg.
Wietse comes up to the Crowfoot Glacier with Portal, Thompson and Jimmy Simpson (L to R) in the bg.
Wietse looks small next to cliffs coming off Vulture Peak.
Wietse looks small next to cliffs coming off Vulture Peak.
There were some steep rolls in the terrain that would be an issue with high avalanche conditions.
There were some steep rolls in the terrain that would be an issue with high avalanche conditions.
Final slopes to the summit at left.
Final slopes to the summit at left.
Views to the east off the summit with Crowfoot Mountain at far right.
Views to the east off the summit with Crowfoot Mountain at far right.
Summit views to the south with mighty Mount Balfour in the distance and Vulture on the right.
Summit views to the south with mighty Mount Balfour in the distance and Vulture on the right.
Another shot looking south includes Mount Temple just left of center and of course Balfour at right.
Another shot looking south includes Mount Temple just left of center and of course Balfour at right.
his shot clearly shows the Balfour Glacier exit to Hector Lake on the left.
his shot clearly shows the Balfour Glacier exit to Hector Lake on the left.
This view includes Weed, Noyes, Bison, Murchison, Jimmy Simpson, Mistaya, Patterson, Thompson (R to L).
This view includes Weed, Noyes, Bison, Murchison, Jimmy Simpson, Mistaya, Patterson, Thompson (R to L).
Looking towards Thompson with Portal barely visible as a separate peak right in front of it, Trapper and Tilly in the background.
Looking towards Thompson with Portal barely visible as a separate peak right in front of it, Trapper and Tilly in the background.
Collie, St. Nicholas, Collesha, Ayesha, Rhondda, Habel, Baker, Tilly and Trapper (L to R)
Collie, St. Nicholas, Collesha, Ayesha, Rhondda, Habel, Baker, Tilly and Trapper (L to R)
A slightly wider shot looking west and north from the summit.
A slightly wider shot looking west and north from the summit.
Vern on the summit.
Vern on the summit.
Descent tracks.
Descent tracks.
Wietse enjoys the ski down.
Wietse enjoys the ski down.
The only place besides just before the lake that we had to gain height on return.
The only place besides just before the lake that we had to gain height on return.

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