ApproachThis is a 3400’+/- ascent day.
Park at the Goat Creek trailhead 8kms+/- south of Canmore on the Spray Lakes Road. You are guaranteed mountain sheep on the Spray Lakes Road. Also watch for hazardous rock fall on the switchbacks above Canmore.
At times this road will be closed due to rock and/or mud slides. There are restrooms at the trailhead. Ascend east to the reservoir (canal) and cross a bridge to the east side and continue south for about 15 minutes or until you have the peak sighted to you left.
The most challenging aspect of this scramble could be the route finding. I set my compass and started the steep vertical hike through tree line. I enjoyed the intermittent firm rock bands giving me a hands-on break from the tedious incline. I kept to my compass reading and climbed several problems to the left until I reached the ridge above tree line. You can avoid these rock bands by traversing further east.
Before I broke tree line, I came across a lone mountain lamb
in sort of a Mexican standoff. Just a curiosity stare that lasted longer than normal.
Once on the ridge, Old Goat Mountain
(with remnants of an old glacier) and Mount Nester
come into full view back over Spray Lake to the southwest. You run into occasional slabs as you near the summit and of course this is the better ground to ascend versus talus. After a few more hands on moves, nothing spectacular, you reach the summit. From the summit you enjoy close up views of Mount Lougheed
, Three Sisters
and of course the birds eye view of Canmore. Return the same.
Bear Spray; Alpine Ax and Gaiters if Snow Conditions Prevail