Crowsnest Mountain is rated as a moderate scramble via the route on its north side. Wet rock or patches of snow can make this scramble dangerous to navigate. There is 1100m (3600 ft) of elevation gain and you can expect to take from 4-8 hours for a round trip.
Topo Map: 82 G/15 Crowsnest
See the “Getting There” section of the main page
for information on getting to the trailhead.
At the trailhead
, take the path to the right which leads into the trees. Continue up to the treeline where the first of the slogging up the scree slopes begins. Braided trails in the scree will lead you up to the first cliff band. Sporadic cairns and even the odd sign will guide you through the scree during the day. On the lower scree slopes, you are aiming to go to the right of the black waterfall marks
on the first cliff band. Again, the cairns and the braided trails in the scree should guide you in the proper direction. Climb through the rock steps of the first cliff band to the next scree slope. Traversing to the left across this slope will lead you to the gully
which then leads you up through the second cliff band.
The top of this gully is the crux of the scramble. A chain is attached to the rock as you near the top of the gully to assist in the ascending and descending of this part of the scramble. The chain stops short of the top of the gully, and although this shouldn’t present any real difficulty on the ascent, this chainless section may be the crux of the descent. In Scrambles of the Canadian Rockies
, Alan Kane mentions a piton at the top of the gully to use as an anchor if desired, but I did not see any. If the rock is dry, there should not be any urgent need for it. Once the second cliff band has been navigated through, follow any number of braided trails to the summit. If the route is free of snow, this should present no difficulties. When we were on the mountain in late June, there were a few sections of lingering snow which made the use of an ice axe very useful.
Standard day hike gear
Proper hiking footwear
Helmet - Although most people you see on the mountain aren't wearing helmets, I would recommend wearing one after seeing the mountain with its scree slopes and gullies.
Ice Axe - Useful for parties attempting the mountain when packed snow patches exist.