Stelfox, Mount

elevation: 2,627 m.
height gain: 1,450 m.
area: David Thompson Highway,AB
map 83 C/1-2

Ref: Brandon Boulier's trip report on

pre-climb bonfire

A great pre-climb bonfire among good friends.
Scramble: RT 10.25; 5.25 up. Mount Stelfox isn't well-known and I don't recall ever coming across a route description until recently. When I read Brandon's trip report, I knew I had to attempt this objective. I sent out some invites hoping to tackle the 25-kilometer hike in a day which seemed entirely possible. The weather during the week was unstable; additionally, a rainfall warning of up to 30 mm was issued for Nordegg just before our summit bid. Some people tried to deter us from going; they were concerned about swollen creekbeds, too much snow, low cloudcover and icy roads. Of course those were all legitimate concerns but we were ready to accept the challenge. We met saturday late afternoon and camped near the trailhead. We enjoyed a fine evening conversing by a bonfire, we roasted wieners and had a few drinks before retiring for the night. The wake up call came all too early the following morning, I think it's fair to say we could have slept a little longer... The trail was covered with a thin layer of fresh snow but travel was good and we reached the minor creek crossings in decent time. None of the crossings were consequential, we carried on to the secondary trail that veers towards Whitegoat Pass. We'd been following a bear track, we lost it at times but it always seemed to reappear a little further along the trail. At some point, the crude trail goes through stretches of alder; with snow it was a bit tougher to discern. Once we reached the ascent gully, travel improved and we got to the task of climbing the mountain. Surprisingly, the bear track came from the easy gully, the snow displayed the paw prints which were neat to follow. As we gained height, the mountains framed by clouds of varied darkness were revealed. The cloudcover was high and didn't obstruct the fine view until later in the afternoon when we started coming down. By then, the tops of the tallest mountains like Mount Cline were engulfed. Our descent in the gully was relatively quick and it felt like backtracking on the crude trail was faster than earlier. We had a good return time and made it back to the trailhead with plenty of daylight left to drive home. This was a nice weekend spent with good friends.


At the trailhead, kinda ready to go.

finding my balance

Finding my balance.
Picture courtesy of Brett Hill.

fresh snow

The trail is plastered by fresh snow.

trail junction

At the Whitegoat Pass Junction.

following a good trail

Following the trail and a grizzly track.

locating the drainage

Locating the drainage leading to the ascent gully.

not top shape

We're not feeling top shape....

starting up the gully

Starting up the gully.

grizzly tracks

Climbing next to the grizzly track.

overcast but pretty

Overcast but pretty just the same.

in good spirit

In good spirit.

nearing the ridge crest

Slowly nearing to the ridge crest.

alison follows bear tracks

Alison still following the bear track.

brightstar peak

Brightstar Peak north-west of us.

summit cairn

Summit cairn ahead.

impressive south-east ridge

The impressive south-east ridge and Elliot Peak on the right.

view south

Mount Cline to the south-west.

alison at the top

My good friend Alison by the summit cairn.

allstones peak

Allstones Peak to the north-east.

abraham lake

Abraham Lake and Mount Michener.

heading down

Heading down.

almost back down

Almost back in the drainage.

snow is melting fast

The snow is melting fast.

minor creek crossings

Nearing the end of our hike with some minor creek crossings.
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