Healy Peak GR:797622

elevation: 2,577 m.  height gain: 1,000 m.
area: Banff/Bow Valley,AB map 82 O/4
2017-Jan-29


From the gondola base at Sunshine Village, locate and follow the trail to Healy Pass and ascend Healy Peak's south ridge.

the monarch


The Monarch from the meadows before heading towards Healy.
Snowshoe trip: 4.5 up. I visited this summit in the early 90's but back then, it didn't have a name. In the past years, many scramblers have been up there; it's now known as Healy Pass Peak or Healy Peak. I figured this trip would be a perfect objective for a solo overnight trip. Most would question why overnight when it's entirely possible to do as a day trip. Simple, I'm training for multi-day solo trips carrying a 40 lb backpack. I used snowshoes instead of skis, which is clearly a disadvantage and not recommended for this peak but since I'll be using snowshoes on my planned trips, that's what I picked! I left Golden in the morning and started hiking on the Healy Pass trail, the trail was well-packed. When I reached the open meadows before heading up towards Healy, I strapped on the snowshoes. It was fairly windy and weather was moving in. I followed an uptrack which helped tremendously; when I stepped off the trail, I punched down hip-deep. Beyond treeline, near the pass, the wind had concealed the track so I aimed for wind drifts. Once on Healy's ridge, travel was much easier. I climbed to the top with hopes of setting up my tent up there. The wind increased, it was actually pretty bad as I froze my fingers taking just a few pictures. I tried to erect my new MSR tent. I tied 3 out of 4 corners to some frozen rocks on the ground and installed the poles. When I tried to hook the tent to the poles, the wind just flattened it and pulled it out of my grasp; this went on for a good 15 minutes until I realized this was a futile effort. I worried about damaging my tent or getting myself in a dire situation during the night... I changed my plan and stuffed the tent in my pack in a haste. As I headed down, visibility greatly reduced. I figured I better descend all the way to the main trail while I could still kinda make out the uptrack, this would save me a lot of postholing. I reached the main trail and the shelter of mature trees with enough time to set up and make supper. The following morning, 15 cm of snow had fallen. I made my way down the trail without seeing a soul. 

preceding on snowshoes

Proceeding on snowshoes.

healy peak

Nearing Healy Peak on the right.

ascent ridge

On the ascent ridge.

scarab and pharaoh peaks


Scarab and Pharaoh Peaks.


summit ahead


Summit ahead.


north-eastern view


North-eastern view with Pilot Mountain and Mount Brett.


eastern view


Mount Bourgeau and Eagle Mountain to the east.


southern view


Southern view with Mount Assiniboine in the distance on the left.


losing visibility


Losing visibility on my way down.


retracing my steps


Retracing my steps to the meadows below.


sheltered in the trees


Sheltered in the trees on the main trail.
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