Lookout Point
With strong winds forecasted for much of the Alberta side of the Canadian Rockies on 9 October 2021, Asieh Ghodratabadi, Ali Shariat, Zosia Zgolak and I headed west to British Columbia's Kootenay National Park for calmer conditions, and we scrambled up officially-named Lookout Point located about ten kilometres northeast of Radium Hot Springs.  We got our inspiration for this scramble from a 2012 trip report by Josée Ménard and Fabrice Carrara who ascended Lookout Point under challenging winter-like conditions.  It is worth noting that there is currently a seasonal hiking restriction in place for the area surrounding Lookout Point effective from May 1 to November 30.  During this period, hiking groups must have a minimum of four people, and the distance between individuals cannot exceed three metres.  Tethers are optional.

From a pullout on the south side of Highway 93 (9.4 kilometres east of the park gates at Radium Hot Springs or 9.3 kilometres south and west of the junction with Settlers Road), Asieh, Ali, Zosia and I cautiously crossed to the north side and began hiking the well graded trail that leads to Kindersley Pass.  While Ménard and Carrara reported that they had left the trail after four switchbacks, we opted to stay on the trail a little longer to more easily gain extra elevation and to also avoid the sub-peak that they had climbed unnecessarily.  Ultimately, we abandoned the trail a little more than two kilometres from the trailhead.  For the next 1.5 hours, we thrashed our way up a steep forested slope rendered slippery by fresh snow and choked with plenty of deadfall.  This was certainly an unpleasant grind, but Zosia's great route-finding and the occasional stretch of easy terrain helped to alleviate some of the misery.  We made better progress higher up where the deadfall begins to thin out, and when we finally gained the crest of Lookout Point's south ridge, we stopped for a short break before resuming our ascent.  The remainder of the route going up the south ridge is somewhat scrubby but mostly straightforward.  We followed smatterings of game trails up to the base of the summit block which looks a little daunting at first with its steeply tilted slabs.  The top of Lookout Point is actually comprised of two summits of roughly equal height.  We had no serious issues scrambling up to the south summit, but getting to the north summit requires traversing a short but exposed connecting ridge.  While Asieh, Ali and Zosia were content to stop at the south summit, I gave the tricky traverse a try and fortunately made it across safely.  Once I verified the elevation of the north summit, I scooted back across the connecting ridge to rejoin everyone else for an extended break at the south summit.

Asieh, Ali, Zosia and I spent about an hour at the top of Lookout Point before carefully descending the summit block the same way.  However, instead of retracing our steps down the rest of the south ridge, we immediately dropped down west-facing slopes in hopes of either traversing over to the northwest ridge of Lookout Point or making a beeline down to the Kindersley Pass trail.  Lingering snow made descending the steep terrain here a little dicey, and without ice cleats, we had to be extra cautious to avoid involuntary slides.  When we slithered far enough past the bottom of the summit block's tilted slabs, we traversed to skier's right and stumbled onto a rocky drainage that looked very inviting to descend.  Giving up the idea of reaching Lookout Point's northwest ridge, we made our way down the drainage with relative ease.  Even when the forest eventually closed in on us, travel was still quite easy as we encountered far less heinous deadfall than on our ascent route.  When we popped out onto the Kindersley Pass trail, we simply turned left and marched back to the trailhead without bumping into any bears or conservation officers.
Really need to look both ways before crossing here 'cause cars zip by doing over 100 kph!

Zosia, Asieh and Ali cautiously cross the highway to the signed trailhead.

Hey bear! The trail to Kindersley Pass has a seasonal restriction in place from May 1 to November 30 where hiking with less than four persons is prohibited.
This route is best avoided! After leaving the trail, Ali, Asieh and Zosia bushwhack uphill through lots of deadfall.
Misery does love company! Ali, Asieh and Sonny thrash their way through another tangle of fallen trees.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

I can breathe again! Nearly 1.5 hours after leaving the trail, Zosia, Ali and Asieh scramble up a rocky section just below the crest of Lookout Point's south ridge.
Still some light bushwhacking here but nothing too heinous. Zosia, Ali and Asieh make better progress up Lookout Point's south ridge.
Best part of the ascent coming up! The summit block of Lookout Point is characterized by tilted slabs.
For more challenge, try the ridge crest on the right! The scrambling on the summit block is easy to moderate.
That's not the top where Ali is standing. Near the top, Ali waits for Asieh to catch up.
Almost there! The top of Lookout Point is comprised of two summits of roughly equal height.  Asieh takes the last few steps here before joining Ali and Zosia at the south summit.
Josée and Fabrice were pretty daring to come up here in snowy conditions! The summit ridge is quite airy.
Not for the faint of heart! The traverse to the north summit entails crossing a short but exposed section of ridge.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

The knob in the foreground might be unclimbed... Here is the view of Kindersley Pass and the double peaks (right) at GR720167 and GR719167 from the north summit of Lookout Point.

It's fun to stay at the...

Sonny stands atop the north summit (2210 metres) of Lookout Point.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak


I think Asieh is feeling a little queasy up here... Ali, Asieh and Zosia hang back at the south summit.
Making Zosia nervous... Sonny carefully makes his way back across the connecting ridge between the two summits.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

The weather cooperated beautifully on this day! Sonny, Zosia, Asieh and Ali relax on the south summit (2210 metres) of Lookout Point.

That was a great trip...literally!

Mount Sinclair dominates the view to the south.


Take your time, and watch your footing here. Sonny, Asieh and Ali descend the summit block.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

This is our ticket home! Zosia enters a rocky drainage just below the summit block.
We should have ascended this way! Asieh, Ali and Zosia encounter far less deadfall on their descent.  This route would be a superior approach for ascending Lookout Point.
Okay, it's time to leaf! Ali, Asieh and Zosia are happy to regain the trail without too much grief.
A most beautiful specimen! This wood tick is hitching a ride on Sonny's jacket.
A neglected peak that offers a surprisingly nice balance of easy hiking, moderate bushwhacking (if the right approach is taken), and interesting scrambling. Total Distance:  8.9 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  6 hours 31 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  873 metres

GPX Data