Mount Fullerton is located in the Fisher Range directly across from Nihahi Ridge in Elbow Sheep Wildland Provincial Park, Kananaskis Country, Alberta. Elbow Sheep Wildland is one of many smaller provincial parks that make up the eastern frontal range of the Canadian Rockies. Kananaskis encompasses over 4,000 square kilometers of foothills and mountains bordering Banff National Park. Fullerton was officially named after a local rancher in 1940.
Alan Kane’s “Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies” discusses two scramble routes for Mount Fullerton, the southeast and northeast(?) ridge. I combined both routes, but completed them in reverse direction compared to what was suggested in the book. I ascended via the northwest ridge
, then returned by the southeast ridge (the crux being a short east-west portion). I was perplexed with some critical missed beta on which side (north versus south) to turn several difficult problems on the east-west ridge.
For that reason, I will not include that particular book on this page. The book and I definitely have discrepancies regarding these routes and/or direction. There are no published alpine or ski routes up the mountain.
The views from Mount Fullerton are of the last mountains on the eastern range of the central Canadian Rockies, Mts. Glasgow, Cornwall (still covered in snow in July), Remus, Romulus and Fisher. Further west, Mount Bogart
stands out in the intermediate distance. Nihahi Ridge separates Mount Fullerton from the Alberta foothills to the east.
The Bragg Creek and Sheep Valley area of Kananaskis Country can be accessed from Calgary via a number of roads. The simplest is to take the Trans-Canada exit for Bragg Creek, Highway 22. Travel south through Bragg Creek on Highway 22 until it dead ends into Highway 66. Turn right on Highway 66 and follow it until a dead end into the Little Elbow Campground. Park on the right at the sign for trailhead parking. Watch for cattle and deer on the road as you will be driving through open range land.
There are no permit requirements to enter, climb and/or park in Kananaskis Provincial Park. The Elbow Valley Information Center
is located on your right after you turn right on Highway 66. Any recent notices will be posted on the bulletin board at that location. Kananaskis Provincial Park headquarters are located on Highway 40 east of Canmore.
This is active grizzly country, therefore, you should always have bear spray on your person. I do advise checking with the park website link provided above for possible trail closures.
When To Climb
As with most scrambles in the Canadian Rockies, the driest time is from June through September. The front range can be scrambled earlier if conditions are compatible. I climbed Mount Fullerton in July and it was in good condition with minimal snow on the north side of the southeast ridge. There are no published backcountry ski routes on Fullerton, nor would it be conducive to ski to the summit.
The closest camp site would be the Little Elbow Campground
in which you start this scramble. Do not expect much of a backcountry experience, however, as many city residents use this campground as a holiday type resort. There are many backcountry sites in the area. 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.
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.
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