Mist Mountain is an easy scramble via the south face and east ridge. Alternative routes are the northwest ridge which is slightly more challenging or from the Lipsett Col, a more difficult route. (Mount Lipsett is an outlier of Mist Mountain to the south of the summit.)
The east ridge approach is through “Nameless Valley” to a col to the southeast of the peak. From there the route traverses left across a steep, north facing slope and then up alongside a creek into the cirque below Mist Mountain. From the cirque, solid and easy to ascend rock and ribs of the south face are to the right facing the peak. Deeper into the cirque to the left the south face consists of scree which would be a grind to ascend, but is perfect for descending. The solid ribs and slabs can be followed to a higher col at the bottom of the east ridge. The east ridge ascends to a false summit and the true summit, which is about 10-15 minutes further. If returning through “Nameless Valley”, retrace the ascent route for a few minutes and then head down the sough ridge for about 40 metres and into the top of the cirque and down the scree. Alternative mix and match options can be used to traverse the peak and ascend or descend via the northwest ridge or Lipsett Col.
Mist Mountain can easily be ascended as a day hike. The length of the round trip is about 12km, with about 1325m of elevation gain.
Take Highway 22 south to Longview from Calgary. Turn west on highway 40. About 3km north of the Mist Creek crossing, there is an open patch of grass on the north (right-hand) side of the highway. Park in this area. The Mount Lipsett trailhead takes off from the middle of this patch of grass. Follow it keeping right at an early junction (or else you’ll end up heading towards Mount Lipsett) and follow the old overgrown road for about 10-15 minutes keeping a lookout for flagging to your left. At the flagging take off onto a trail that leads into what is known as “Nameless Valley”. Follow this trail to the col at the head of the valley and carry on up towards Mist Mountain.
None. Be aware that bears frequent this area.
When To Climb
The east ridge of Mist Mountain is best climbed between late June and October. The other two routes may take a couple of extra weeks to get into shape. This portion of Highway 40 is closed from December 1 to June 15.
The east ridge route up Mist Mountain is described in the Kananaskis Country Trail Guide by Gillean Daffern. The northwest ridge and Lipsett Col routes are described in the guidebook Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies by Alan Kane..
Mist Mountain is in Kananaskis Country (an Alberta multi-use recreation area). There are several campgrounds near Highway 40 and random backcountry camping is permitted in some locations. Consult the Kananaskis Country website at http://www.cd.gov.ab.ca/enjoying_alberta/parks/featured/kananaskis/flashindex.asp for details.
Conditions in the Canadian Rockies can be variable and warm gear is necessary. Snow can occur any month of the year.