Fist Scramble

Page Type
Alberta, Canada, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Most of a day
Difficult Scramble

Route Quality: 5 Votes

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Fist Scramble
Created On: Jul 5, 2005
Last Edited On: Mar 29, 2013


This is a 2500’+/- ascent day. The only reason I would label Fist a difficult scramble is that it is listed that way in other publications. If you want to do your first difficult scramble, this would be the one. I consider it more moderate. The difficultly of this scramble is more with the descent than with the exposure in my opinion. You are forced up a chimney gully. These are objectively hazardous by nature (rock fall). One must be prudent on the descent, particularly if more than one is in the group. In winter this route is a much more difficult task, but a good ski once back to the col.

Route Description

Park at the logging road just past the bridge on the left side of Shark Mountain access road. Bike in for about 15 minutes staying to the right at a fork. This trail becomes narrow and obstructed for your bike. Park the bike and descend to a scenic waterfall in Commonwealth Creek. Follow the trail north of the creek as you break out into the Commonwealth Valley. The Fist will be immediately on your right sky line.

There is a drainage heading up to the col between the Fist and Mt. Smuts (the most difficult scramble in Kananaskis). Ascend this col using this drainage to 8000'. I have skied to this col in the winter as well. From parking to the col, it took me 2 hours. Facing the Fist from the west, ascend the right side gully located between a fin of rock and the mountain. Watch for falling rock and move swiftly through this gully. You will top out at a notch overlooking the east. Turn left and scramble up to the summit. This semi technical climb took me 30 minutes at the most. The register talks of a grizzly ascending the col from the north to the south in August of 2003. The party awaited his descent from the col.

You have good views of Mt. Shark to the north, Mt. Smuts to the immediate west, Mt. Birdwood, Assiniboine and Haig Glacier peaks to the south. I mainly added this route as I had good route photos.

Essential Gear

Helmet, Bear Spray (Gaiters, Alpine Ax and Ice Tool in the Winter)

Fist Scramble

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