After a short break on the summit of Mount Henkel, we traversed the connecting ridge to Crowfeet Mountain. A stiff breeze kept temperatures rather cool, but I actually welcomed this given my recent ordeal with hot weather on Mount Jackson. The descent from Mount Henkel was pretty quick and easy, and we were able to pick up a beaten path that led all the way to the final summit block of Crowfeet Mountain. We had some difficulty surmounting this summit block, but after some trial and error, we eventually climbed up a break in the cliffs near the south end. The true summit of Crowfeet Mountain is actually at the north end, and it is guarded by an exposed gap in the summit ridge. Although I did not think twice about stepping across the gap, the exposure was a little beyond Bob's comfort level, and he chose not to cross. Instead, he returned to the south end of the summit block and waited for me while I performed my usual summit chores.
Leaving the summit of Crowfeet Mountain, I backtracked across the gap and rejoined Bob at the south end of the summit block where we descended the same break in the cliffs that we had come up. Following the advice from a report on summitpost.org, we descended the western slopes of Crowfeet Mountain aiming to reach Ptarmigan Lake which is a little further to the north. While much of this slope is very loose and conducive to scree skiing, there are also lots of unseen cliffs below which present some route-finding challenges. We were actually quite fortunate to find a reasonable route through the largest of the cliff bands, but once we cleared this major obstacle, we had no more serious issues in descending to Ptarmigan Lake. From near the lake's outlet, we picked up the Ptarmigan Lake trail and settled into a long but easy hike back to the trailhead. My feet were really aching on this home stretch, and I had a tough time keeping up to Bob who always seems to look more refreshed at the end of a trip!
sure to check out Bob's trip report
here. Bob and Sonny stand on the 2673-metre summit of Mount
Henkel. Visible at right are Mounts Merritt and
Cleveland. Iceberg Lake is the centrepiece of the view to the
southwest. Towering over the lake are Mount Wilbur and Iceberg
The ascent route for Mount Henkel goes
through the breach in the cliffs at upper right.
Bob sticks to climber's right of the
obvious drainage emanating from the breach in the cliffs.
This is looking up the Swiftcurrent
Creek valley. At left is Mount Grinnell, and at far right is
The east face of Mount Wilbur is
always a formidable sight.
Bob looks for a way up the first
cliffs encountered. He would eventually back down and go up
beside the dead tree trunk at centre.
Bob scrambles up a hidden gully.
Above the first cliffs is a big red
Bob approaches the red cliffs at the
back of the basin.
Sheep may safely graze on these
terraces at the back of the basin.
The scrambling is easy here.
Bob pauses on his way up through the
Above the red basin, Bob works his way
up a yellow slope.
Here is one of three mountain goats
that Bob and Sonny spotted on Mount Henkel.
Bob approaches the summit of Mount
Notable peaks that are visible to the
southwest include (L to R) Mount Grinnell, Mount Vaught, Heavens
Peak, Swiftcurrent Mountain, and Mount Wilbur.
Crowfeet Mountain and Kennedy Lake
steal the show to the north.
Shadows of clouds drape over Apikuni
Mountain to the northeast.
Bob follows the connecting ridge to
Bob takes a peek over the steep east
face of Crowfeet Mountain. The red peak that is barely visible
behind Crowfeet Mountain is Seward Mountain.
is also visible in the distance.
Here is a look back at Mount Henkel
along the connecting ridge.
Crowfeet Mountain's profile is very
striking from this angle.
Bob tries to surmount the cliff bands
guarding the summit block.
Bob stops at an exposed gap in the
Sonny stands on the 2719-metre summit
of Crowfeet Mountain.
Some of the more obvious landmarks to
the northwest include Mount Merritt, Ptarmigan Lake, the trail to
Ptarmigan Tunnel, and Elizabeth Lake.
The view eastward is dominated by
Bob waits for Sonny at the south end
of the summit block. Some noteworthy peaks visible on the
Mount Siyeh, Mount Stimson,
and Mount Grinnell.
Here is another look at the gap before
the true summit of Crowfeet Mountain.
Mount Henkel and Kennedy Lake steal
the show to the south.
Bob squeezes through an awkward crack
on his way down from the summit block.
Bob searches for the easiest route on
his way down to Ptarmigan Lake.
Bob descends an easy snow slope near
Here is a foreshortened view of
Crowfeet Mountain's west slope from the trail to Ptarmigan Tunnel.
Allen Mountain provides a scenic
backdrop on the hike back to the trailhead.
Distance: 15.8 kilometres
Round-Trip Time: 9 hours 12 minutes
Total Elevation Gain: 1511 metres
Bob and Sonny stand on the 2673-metre summit of Mount Henkel. Visible at right are Mounts Merritt and Cleveland.
Iceberg Lake is the centrepiece of the view to the southwest. Towering over the lake are Mount Wilbur and Iceberg Peak.