Silverhorn Mountain GR:345347

elevation: 2,911 m.  height gain: 1,200 m.
area: Icefields Parkway,AB
map 82 N/15-16

Ref: Andrew Nugara's More scrambles in the Canadian Rockies 3rd edition
giddy up pony

Marta's ready to go, giddy up pony!
Scramble: RT 11.5; 5.0 up. I met with Marta for another fantastic scramble. Silverhorn Mountain exceeded our expectations; the approach is short and quite pleasant, the ascent gully grants fun scrambling on good rock and the walk on the summit ridge crest is great although far too short. On my drive in, I waited for Marta on the shoulder opposite Bow Summit. We both drove off to locate the drainage; a GPS is usefull here, we parked on the steepish shoulder as there is no pull off close by unless you drive an additional kilometer north. We started hiking in the creekbed but soon veered to the north bank to walk on ground. There's no trail but travel is generally good. Soon thereafter, the waterfall came into view. We continued high up on the northern embankment to treeline, we stopped at a shallow saddle where we could see the upper mountain. We weren't quite sure which gully to ascend to reach the summit ridge. I only had one picture to go by on my phone, Marta and I scrutinized it and figured we had to traverse all the way to the far gully. The traverse was faster than anticipated. At the gully, we chose to scramble on good rock to the left. Several lines of ascent are possible and the scrambling never gets too difficult or exposed. At the top of the gully, we continued the ascent on loose talus; we travelled side by side to prevent kicking rocks on each other. That slope is tedious and longer than it appears. Once on the ridge, we enjoyed some fun scrambling on the crest, the traverse to the summit was over all too quick. We stayed on the summit for 2 hours, there was no wind on this warm day. We had fun, I'm not about to forget our priceless shenanigans. Surprinsingly, the faboulous views were unobstructed by the smoke from forest fires. Backtracking was very fast, we stopped along the sidehilling traverse in a side drainage to replenish our water bottles and take another break. This scramble is fun and straightforward, it's short enough to allow hanging out at the top to your heart's content!


Easy walk in the creekbed before scooting up the northern embankment.

nice waterfall

The waterfall is reached in less than an hour.

straightforward embankment

Travel on the embankment is straightforward.

reaching treeline

Reaching treeline with the objective on the right.

traverse to the ascent gully

Looking at the traverse to the ascent gully.

crossing a drainage

Crossing a drainage along the traverse.

ascending good rock

Ascending good rock climber's left of the gully.

looking back

Looking back at the traverse.

moderate scrambling

Fine moderate scrambling.

tougher terrain is available

It is possible to stray into tougher terrain.

pleasant ascent

 The rock is much more pleasant to ascend than the loose gully alongside.

veering to the gully

Veering towards the gully to gain the upper talus slope.

talus slope

The talus slope is tedious and longer than it appears.

summit ridge

On the summit ridge.

looking back

Looking back.

staying on the ridge crest

It is possible to stay on the ridge proper most of the way.

avoiding a difficult section

One difficult section requires circumventing on the east side.

summit ahead

The summit is in sight.

mount weed and quill peak

Looking back with Mount Weed on the left and Quill Peak in the distance on the right.

at the top

On the summit with Observation Mountain in the background.

summit shenanigans

A glimpse at our summit shenanigans.

bc day celebration

My tamed summit pose with the BC flag on BC day!!!

peyto lake

Peyto Lake and some classic mountaineering objectives of the Wapta Icefield.

howse, white pyramid and chephren

Mount Howse, White Pyramid and Mount Chephren.

leaving the top

Leaving the top.

beautiful summit ridge

Beautiful summit ridge but all too short.

south-eastern view

South-eastern view towards Bobac Peak and Mount Willingdon.

narrower section

Marta tackles a narrower section.

access gully

Heading to the access gully.

entertaining sections

Some short sections are entertaining.

fun bit

Another fun bit.

mount patterson

Mount Patterson.

above the waterfall

Just above the waterfall.

back in the creekbed

Back in the creekbed by sunset, we milked this one!
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