Chirp Peak

Trip Date: Sunday, June 30 2019
Reference Trip: Three Passes Route
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2- you fall, you sprain something.
Difficulty Notes: An easy scramble and hike from the Divide Pass meadows.
Technical Rating: OT4; RE4
GPS Track: Gaia
Map: Google Maps

Chirp Peak looks very impressive from the NE. When we crested Shale Pass we were surprised by the dramatic NE aspect of the mountain with its unique rock formations and many water courses running down its sides into Peters Creek far below. Now that we were over Divide Pass however, the peak looked far less impressive and much more benign. After dropping our heavy overnight packs in the meadows we continued ascending to the gentle south ridge by first tackling steeper grass / shale slopes on the SE end of the mountain.

Descending to Peters Creek from Shale Pass with Chirp Peak rising at left looking surprisingly stately considering how easy and gentle the hike up the south aspect is!
Hiking through Divide Pass with Chirp Peak’s east slope access to the south ridge at right.
Three Passes Route overall route map showing the long bike ride through Ya Ha Tinda and our counter clockwise route up Tomahawk Pass through Divide Pass and back along the Red Deer River.

As we gained the south ridge / plateau of the mountain the views once again impressed us. I enjoyed two tarns to the SE across Divide Pass meadows that looked like they would be pretty stellar hiking destinations. I was also duly impressed as we started gaining height and Boar Station’s 3039m summit became visible. We started noticing what could only be bison dung high up on the peak which was very ironic since we were outside the official bison closure area at this point. Clearly Banff bison need to get better reading skillz or Internet access so they know where they are and are not allowed to wander…

Two tarns (barely visible at left here) under an unnamed summit near Divide Pass. Divide Creek runs off at right.
Views south down Divide Creek from the ascent slopes of Chirp Peak. Snow Creek Summit is at distant center. Boar Station rises at right. Melanin Peak at distant center left.
Hiking up the easy and scenic south slope of Chirp Peak. Condor Peak visible at center right.
Sublime views over Divide Pass down Peters Creek to Mount Peters (C) and Condor Peak (R).

A pretty large herd of sheep ran away from us as we crested our fourth and final peak of the trip to some very sublime views down Peters Creek including Mount Peters, Condor Peak and Shale Pass. Mount Mamen figured prominently to the north as did the impressive east faces of Willingdon and Harris. To the west giants such as Douglas, St. Bride, McConnell and Cataract looked intimidating.

Sira Peak rises at left of Snow Creek Summit. Mount Lougheed rises in the far distance with the old Cascade Fire Road running towards the Red Deer River from Lake Minnewanka at center through the pass.
L to R, Whelk, Peters, Mamen, Condor, Forbidden, HH89, Tomahawk. Shale Pass at mid center with Divide Pass at lower center.
Descending easy south slopes of Chirp in dying light. Mount White at left and Prow Mountain at right with Snow Creek Summit and the old Cascade Fire Road at center.

We sat down and enjoyed the moment before the predictable chills set in from the cool evening breezes. Descent was quick and easy and soon we were back at our packs and ready to sleep for the night.

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