Standard scramble route with M. Siddles, dodgey weather, but fun day out.
Stopped in Waterton Lakes on my way north to pick up Mary in Calgary. I wanted to do the Carthew-Alderson trail, but the rangers discouraged it due to heavy snow cover. So instead, I did this excellent scramble. It turned out to be much better and more challenging that I expected. I stayed on the crest as much as possible and there was a lot of 4th class terrain. I must have not found the preferred descent, because the way I went was tedious. It took me 3 hrs to the summit, a little over 2 hrs to descend.
If you choose to take the Bear’s Hump route AND you choose not to traverse around the cockscomb ridge, then everything you read about this scramble is true. It is a difficult scramble involving exposure, several challenging moves, and routefinding. With each pinnacle on the ridge, we had to decide whether to climb over it with the inevitable downclimbing on the other side or to downclimb to our right and gain up with the ridge after the pinnacle in question. Either way involved vertical downclimbing to some extent. Once you are on the ridge, you are committed to the route. Without a rope, it would be very difficult and dangerous to try to backtrack and downclimb off of the ridge. For a little extra excitement to our day, we had one section of straddling the ridge au cheval, some postholing after the ridge (luckily not too much), and some bushwhacking on our decent. The views throughout the day are amazing as you overlook Upper Waterton Lake and a myriad of peaks in both Waterton and Glacier National Parks. We even saw a Bighorn ewe with a very young lamb near the summit. It was an exciting and challenging first summit of the year!
Summited via the back route from Crandell Lake on July 10, 2008. It took 2.5 hours to ascend and less than 2 hours to descend.
I've climbed up to the hump hundreds of times, and once (in 1993) made a push up the ridge to the summit.
My mom, my little brother, and I were the first people on Bear's Hump this century.... you see we climbed it on December 31, 1999 and, in the blowing snow, counted down to 12:00 am January 1, 2000.