Smutwood Peak GR:128286

elevation: 2,690 m. height gain: 850 m.
area: Smith-Dorrien/Spray Area,AB map 82 J/14
2013-Feb-10


Ref: Drew and Mark in the Canadian Rockies
from the road


View from the side of the road.
Ski touring: RT: 8.5; 4.75 up. My good friend Ev was visiting from NZ and staying in Canmore. Fortunately, the weather and snowpack stability were very good in that area. After seeing a trip report on this outing, we decided it would be a great choice. We met Ev in Canmore and located the obvious spot to park on the side of the road. It was quite chilly, a brisk pace ensued alongside Commonwealth Creek. We reached the headwall quickly. We had the option to follow a faint up-track in the trees or continue on the packed trail towards the avalanche slope; we chose the latter, thinking it would veer in the trees further. The up-track continued up the open slope. After considering past and present avalanche conditions, overhead hazard, etc, we felt okay going this way. We gained Smuts Pass in 2.5 hours. From there, we could see our objective. We had to execute a traverse to reach the col between Mount Birdwood and Smutwood Peak. Again, we felt fine crossing the open terrain, but we still spaced ourselves out. We were finally in the sun and it felt great, we took a nice break before proceeding up the ascent ridge. Luckily for us, we were following a group of four on snowshoes. We soon ditched our skis near a small bluff, next to a pile of snowshoes. We simply followed the steps to the false summit. By then, the foursome was coming down from the summit; it was Steven Song and his friends. It was nice to meet the young lad again. After thanking him for breaking trail, we climbed to the top for another pleasant break. The sights are phenomenal in this area; the winter scenery is certainly special. It was hard to peel ourselves away from the sun pit... On the way down, we circumvented the false summit. Returning was fast and offered some decent skiing. I'm very glad to have had the opportunity to venture onto a summit with Ev; it could be a long while before I see her again...
mount birdwood

Mount Birdwood in the background.

nearing the headwall

Charging towards the headwall.

up the avalanche slope


Going up the bomber avalanche slope.


approaching smuts pass


Approaching Smuts Pass with Mount Smuts in the sun.


looking back


Looking back.


smuts pass


At Smuts Pass, our objective is revealed.


traversing to the col


Traversing to the col between Mount Birdwood and Smutwood Peak.


break time


Taking a break at the col.


silliness


A bit of silliness.


on skis at first


On skis for the beginning of the ascent ridge.


mount birdwood behind ev


Mount Birdwood behind Ev.


smutwood's summits


Smutwood's false and true summits.


cornices are creeping


Cornices are creeping...


climbing the false summit


Climbing the false summit, why not.


another group coming down


A foursome is coming down from the true summit.


to the saddle


Down to the saddle we go.


the group continues


After chating a bit, they resume their descent.


ascending the true summit


Our turn to ascend the true summit.


almost there


Almost there.


view west


Western view from the top.


ev and i


Ev and I.


leaving the top


Leaving the top.


back to our gear


Back to our gear.


in the shade again


Skiing the avalanche slope, in the shade again.


back at the truck


Back at the truck sooner than expected.
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