Threepoint Mountain


elevation: 2,595 m.  height gain: 1,000 m.
area: Kananaskis,AB map 82 J/10-J/15
2015-May-18


Ref: Andrew Nugara's More scrambles in the Canadian Rockies 2nd edition.
at the bridge


The suspension bridge at the start of the Big Elbow Trail.
Scramble: RT 10.25; 5.5 up. When Andrea contacted me about trail conditions on the Big Elbow Trail, I told her I hadn't been there post-flood and that I was also interested in knowing how far you could bike before having to ford the river as we wanted to attempt Threepoint Mountain. She then sent me a link of a bike website and informed me she planned to go there as well, hence we hooked up for this fabulous trip. The bike ride was cruisy for the exception of a couple of sections where the trail is washed out. Near Threepoint, a whole section is now gone; we decided to leave the bikes and continue to the base of the mountain on foot. We crossed the shallow river and travelled alongside it; then, we ascended light timbered slopes to get to treeline. There was fresh snow but that didn't hinder progress. The conditions were good for traversing the north bowl to the first peak, an overnight freeze likely tightened the snowpack. At the first peak, a nice ridge walk towards the true summit is revealed. Andrea set a blazing pace up the final stretch, I watched the distance grow between us. We had an enjoyable stay at the top before returning the way we came. We did consider the alternate route described by Nugara but after reading his description and warning about having crampons and rope if snow covered, we decided to forgo that option. Andrea noticed several fossils on the summit ridge, they looked very worm like; she knew their name, Crinoids (Sea Lilies)! Once at the bikes, I felt like another good break to stretch my back before the ride out; we told Andrea she didn't have to wait and could carry on if she wanted to. We said our goodbyes and she went on her way. After a good stretch and some food, I saddled up. The ride out was fun despite our sore bum; I repeatedly yelled: "pedal, pedal, coast!!!" We got home at 10 PM, the doggies were thrilled to see us and get their kibbles.
wash out

The trail is washed out in places.

leaving the bikes behind

At a major wash out near the objective, we decide to continue on foot.

fording the river


Fording the Elbow River.


towards the ascent slopes


Crossing it again as we plod towards Threepoint Mountain's ascent slopes.


good travelling


Good travelling to the ascent slopes.


straightforward


Straightforward.


circumventing the buttress


Circumventing the buttress climber's left.


good snow conditions


Good snow conditions.


following the ridge


Following the ridge to the first peak.


first peak


Taking a quick break at the sub peak.


second and third peaks


The remainder of the summit ridge to the second and third peaks.


casual hiking


Casual hiking to the second peak.


pleasant ridge walk


Pleasant ridge walk.


final jaunt


Final jaunt to the summit of Threepoint Mountain.


short scramble


A short scramble precedes the top.


at the top


At the top, looking north-east towards the Prairies.


view south


Bluerock Mountain (left) and Mount Burns on the right.


leaving the top


Leaving the top.


scrutinizing fossils


Andrea is scrutinizing fossils, Sea Lilies to be exact!


up the first peak


Going back up the first peak.


north bowl


Traversing the north bowl.


heel-plunging


Heel-plunging, the snow is still fairly firm.


descent to treeline


Descent to treeline.


alongside the river


Travelling alongside the river.


pedal pedal coast


Pedal, pedal, coast!
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