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South Slopes

 
South Slopes

Page Type: Route

Location: Alberta, Canada, North America

Lat/Lon: 51.42000°N / 116.25°W

Object Title: South Slopes

Route Type: Mountaineering

Season: Summer

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Easy

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes
 

 

Page By: Dow Williams

Created/Edited: Jun 23, 2005 / Feb 18, 2006

Object ID: 165596

Hits: 1336 

Page Score: 71.84%  - 2 Votes 

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Approach

This is a 3600'+/- day. Park at the Helen Lake trail head (east side of road) on the Icefields Parkway 33 km north of the Trans-Canada Highway. Proceed on a trail for 6 km to Helen Lake.

Route Description

Now you have two options, either continue on the trail to Dolomite Pass or, as I did, just head straight for the peak via the left side of the lake. This route takes you to pristine high alpine meadows and eventually to shale and rubble.

As I proceeded to the base of Cirque, I bypassed some short cliff bands to the left and dove straight up snow and ice angling back right, aiming for the summit ridge. This was a steep hump, but once I gained the ridge, I traversed with ice axe over to the first, lower summit and then carefully descended and made for the real summit slightly
south, which has a register.

I made the summit in under 3 hours. This was a cold, blustery and cloudy day, but still offered good views of the Crowfoot and Bow Glaciers to the West. I returned the same way. Helen Lake is a great place to have your lunch on return.

Essential Gear

Alpine Ax and Gaiters if early Conditions. Hemet and Bear Spray.

Images

Cirque Mountain from Dolomite...Lake HelenApproaching CirqueCirque PeakHigh On Cirque Peak