This route is contained to an avalanche gully, mossy rock cliff, some scree
and a lichen covered summit ridge. Most of this climb is located on the western slopes of Volcano Peak. It is not the most popular way to the summit which is usually obtained by the southwest ridge, but is alot more fun. First there is nice approach from the Evan-Thomas Trail which leads you through a dense forest. No bush wacking is necessary here though. The trail is wide and maybe travelled be horseriders and mountain bikers. Hikers will have to traverse a small creek to obtain the gully need to accend Volcano this way. Lots of rocks to lead you across though.
The first gully is a not to steep of one. It is filled with lots of rock ( some that is loose ) along with some old, weathered fallen trees. The rock is alot looser as you reach the end of the gully, alot more scree.
Next you will have a short trek through some low brush and moss covered floor to reach the cliff that you'll need to accend to reach the summit. The cliffs are not steep. There are alot of steeps that will help you pass. Mostly all of the cliffs edges and holds are moss covered but finding holds should not be a problem.
After the cliffs you will get into some scree and talus. This is short and sweet. Once out of this area you will be at the summit ridge which gently leads you to Volcano Peaks summit. The summit ridge and summit itself is filled with endless rock and talus cover with lichens.
Overall it is a great climb and worth the try. Views are beatuiful and with only taking roughly 6 hour round trip it makes for a great day in the Rocky Mountains of Kananaskis.
Though from the summit there looks to be many ways down, I would recommend come down the same way as you came. We tryed to go back using a different scree shoot, but ended up on desk sized loose rock ( a friend of mine started a small rock slide here ) and also there were three or four hidden rock cliffs.
At the end of this gully there was also some think bush wacking. If that sounds fun, then try it. After we were done we kinda though it was fun too but wouldn't try it again.
Getting ThereTake Trans Canada Hwy 1 West from Calgary, AB for roughly an hour to the Hwy 40 South turnoff ( Kananaskis Trail ). Take Hwy 40 South for 20 mins. until you reach the Evan-Thomas parking lot which is roughly 1 km pass the Kananaskis Country Golf Course. This is where you'll start the approach.
Take the Evan-Thomas trail (right hand side of parking lot). About a minute in you'll meet a "T" in the trail. You'll want to hang a left. After about a 20 min. hike you'll meet another "T" in the trail. Take the trail to the north (left). A sign marked "Unmaintained Trail" will lead the way. Another 10-15 mins. up this trail you will come to a section where a small stream crosses the path.
Here you will angle left into the woods along a well beaten trail marked with a cairn. When you emerge out of the woods (still along the stream bed) you'll see a scree shoot angling up the side of Volcano Peak (to your left). This is roughly after 15 minutes.
Find a place to cross this stream and make your way up the avalanche shoot. Once you have accended the shoot stay to your left and scramble up moss filled cliffs.
At the top of these easily accended cliffs you'll be in another scree slope. Roughly 15 mins up the scree you'll see the ridge line that leads gentley to the summit.