Welcome to SP!  -
Mount Pocaterra
Mountain/Rock
Contribute 
 
Children 
Geography
Parents 
Mountains & Rocks
 
Mountains & Rocks
 
Mountains & Rocks
 

Mount Pocaterra

 
Mount Pocaterra

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Alberta, Canada, North America

Lat/Lon: 50.60000°N / 115.0306°W

Object Title: Mount Pocaterra

Activities: Mountaineering

Season: Summer

Elevation: 9649 ft / 2941 m

 

Page By: Dow Williams

Created/Edited: Aug 5, 2005 / Mar 31, 2013

Object ID: 154455

Hits: 3744 

Page Score: 83.69%  - 17 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

Overview

Mount Pocaterra is part of the Elk Range located on the continental divide in Kananaskis Provincial Park (encompassing over 4,000 square kilometers of foothills and mountains bordering Banff National Park). It is connected via a long col (ridge) to Mount Tyrwhitt to the south (which is a turning point for the continental divide) and both are normally climbed together. Mount Pocaterra was unofficially named after a local explorer in the area.
Dow Williams Dow Williams Dow Williams Dow Williams Dow Williams
The only published route up Mount Pocaterra is the moderate traverse scramble via Mount Tyrwhitt. The elevated start at Highwood Pass (7239’) and approach through golden Larches makes for a good recommendation. The most unique feature of the Pocaterra side of the route is a fascinating gendarme on its south ridge. The traverse over from Mount Tyrwhitt and then descending the route down Pocaterra’s eastern flanks makes for a true cirque. You are treated to great views of the Height of Rockies group, including Mount Joffre to the west as well as the Misty Range of Mount Rae, Storm Mountain and Mount Arethusa to the east.

In my opinion, this Highwood Pass area serves up the most scenic and accessible high alpine foliage in all of the Canadian Rockies.

Getting There

Take the Kananaskis Trail (Highway 40) exit off of the Trans-Canada Highway between Calgary and Canmore. Drive to the Highwood Pass day parking area at 7239’ (Highwood Pass Interpretive Trail) and park. Restrooms are at this location. Kananaskis Trail is closed from December 1 through June 15, and I do mean with a gate. The closure is at Kings Creek (Canyon), meaning no access to any of the Highwood area mountains prior to June 15th.

Red Tape

There are no permit requirements to enter, climb and/or park in Kananaskis Provincial Park. This is active grizzly country however. Take bear spray. As of July, 2005, we have current trail closures in this area of Kananaskis due to a mountain lion (protecting its kill) and grizzly with cubs (bluff charge). Therefore it is prudent to check recent notices posted on the bulletin board outside of park headquarters which you drive by on Highway 40 (Kananaskis Trail). If they are open, check in with the ranger staff, they have tons of beta and are always friendly.

When To Climb

As with most climbs in the Canadian Rockies, the driest time is from June through September. I climbed Mount Pocaterra in September and the route was free of snow. There are no published backcountry ski routes on Mount Pocaterra, nor would I suspect this to be a mountain worth skiing.

Camping

The closest camping is a backcountry site at Elbow Lake, 1.3 km in on Big Elbow Trail back north a few kilometers off of Hwy 40. There are tons of camping options further north at Kananaskis Lakes. You cannot camp outside of the marked specific camping areas in Kananaskis. Refer to the Kananaskis Provincial Park website for more information regarding camping and/or lodging.

Mountain Conditions

The Kananaskis Provincial Park website is a very thorough park website, including trail conditions or closures, wildlife notices, weather conditions, avalanche conditions, camping permits, whitewater conditions, etc. It is an excellent source if you are going to spend any time here and comparable to any National Park website I have used. Outside of the parks web site, Canadian Avalanche Association is also useful, particularly for winter travel.

External Links

  • 100’s of Canadian Rockies multi-pitch rock climbs, ice climbs, alpine climbs and scrambles, just scroll down to routes
  • OR: Best True Technical Clothing and Accessories in the Outdoor Industry
  • Scarpa, has surpassed La Sportiva in terms of quality, function, value
  • Osprey Backpacks, Not a Second Choice
  • Great Outdoors Depot
  • Mont-Bell
  • Cascade Designs (MSR; Thermarest; Platypus)
  • Images

    Mount Pocaterra from the East...The Ridge Traverse Looking...The Feature marking the top...The View of Upper Kananaskis...Pocaterra and its connecting...A Bivy Spot (Cave) on the...Marked Route Photo for the...
    Mount Pocaterra, Kananaskis,...A Semi-Stormy day on Gap...From the Mount Tyrwhitt-Mount...Ridge between Tyrwhitt and PocaterraSummit Photo (2 summits for...The Pocaterra Cirque High...The East Ridge Route, from...