Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mt. Boswell to Crypt Peak (highpoint of Wilson Range)

Circumnavigated Crypt Lake this past June 20th, 2015. 
View from just below Boswell

On the way up

Easy terrain

on the ridge

At the unnamed summit between Boswell and Crypt peak

At unnamed summit between Boswell and Crypt peak

Aerial view of hikers below hiking around Crypt lake

Crypt peak

Looking back on the ridge we had just traversed with Crypt lake below

The descent off of Crypt peak

Mt. Boswell (left) and Mt. Cleveland on the distant right

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Waterton rambling

Directions to Mt. Stelfox Via Ferrata

Had a hard time finding any beta on the mystery  Via Ferrara near Nordegg, so in the spirit of sharing... Basic directions as follows: 

Drive east from the Saskatchewan Crossing for approximately ~42.3 km to the parking area for Mt. Stelfox Via Ferrata (the parking area is denoted by the signage that says 'Coral Creek White Goat Staging Area'). If you pass the heli pad tour area you have gone slightly too far but are really close... where you pull off and park you can see the blue 'Icefield heli tour' sign down the road. The parking area is at the base of Mt. Stelfox's long ridgeline. 

Facing the cliffs (from the middle of the parking area) look for a faint trail that takes you immediately uphill towards the cliffs. The trail starts off moderately but gets steep in a hurry but it only takes about 45 minutes to get to the via ferrata at a moderate pace.  The trail was built pretty nicely, you will notice some rock steps that someone took the time to place. As well, in some places some logs/branches that were driven into the ground to act as piles to shore up the trail in spots. There was no sign at the trailhead but at some point there was a sign that said something about the David Thompson climbing association and there is a big red warning sign when you are on the Via Ferrata that you might be able to see from a distance.

The Via Ferrata isn't very long, only took us maybe 2.5 hours to get to the top and we were not fast (despite the Via Ferrata we were belaying). ~ 200 metres. Once you climb up to the top of the Via Ferrata there is a trail that takes you down the back, if you poke around you cannot miss it. Loops you right back down to the parking. It was actually quite a hoot to climb even if you have done some multi pitch stuff. Some of the terrain would be quite difficuly to do as a regular climb (overhangish 5.10+) but with the via ferrata it is not stressful at all, there are ladder rungs all over the place for your feet and hands (there are so many rebars you don't need to use the rock most of the time).

You can find the parking area off Google maps using the streetview option (handy tool!)