Great fall weather in 1995 and we had a great day on this fun scramble. Hiked with Andy M.
I'd very much recommend doing the circuit, and doing it in the direction mentioned. This is also a fantastic winter objective. There are only a few scrambling moves below the summit which may be trickier when icy/wet, but being able to glissade the ~50deg slope down to the Chester valley made it all worthwhile.
Great outing in winter conditions made this a special day
This was the final peak of our hiking extravaganza. Our original plans had been to do nearby Chester but the Chester Lake approach was closed due to Grizzly activity. We found a geocache on the summit and I traded some chocolate covered granola for honey roasted peanuts which were 2 years old. Tasty! From Headwall Lakes and above it was a gorgeous hike and a great way to end our Canada trip.
One of the most beautiful hikes in Kananaskis.
Hard work to get to the top as there were some serious snow drifts to get across. There was no significant snow accumulation on the summit section above the col though. The views of the snowy peaks around on such a sunny day was wonderfull.
Did the Chester Lake approach thinking we were pressed for time. My partner took a shortcut effectively cutting off the Fortress-Chester col and we ended up needing our hands all the way up, which made for an interesting ascent. Ran out of time and water when we hit the ridge, so we turned back.
Beautiful day and beautiful route... we'll be back to finish this one soon.
Very enjoyable scramble especially for early season when a lot of other mountains are out of condition. No real difficulties from the Chester Lake approach - totally different than the intimidating image this mountains presents from highway 40!
In June 2004 Michael Thompson and I went in to attempt Mt. Galatea. The entire south face was still completely loaded with snow and ice. We then skirted around the backside of Gusty Peak only to find point avalanches unloading on its route. We continued to posthole in alpine conditions up to the col between The Fortress and Mount Chester and did The Fortress summit as our third option. There was a significant cornice on this col.
Lesson learned is that the Spray Lakes Reservoir area peaks can hold some snow late into the season, when conditions are wet in the valley. The summit this day was spectacular, zero wind, with Mt. Joffre, Mount Sir Douglas and Mt. Assiniboine offering a triangular mountain landscape second to none. Tremendous late snow conditions existed on all of those peaks in 2004 and again in 2005. We glissaded down nasty wet snow on our return.
BJ and Stacy joined me on this pleasant scramble and we made a fun circuit out of it in October, 2003 via Headwall Lakes. I recommend this one as an easy day out. Cheers!