Head, Mount

elevation: 2,782 m. height gain: 1,465 m.
area: South Kananaskis,AB map 82 J/7

Ref: Sonny Bou's scrambles archive
pack trail coulee

Pack Trail Coulee to Grass Pass.
Scramble: RT 12.0; 6.0 up. The weather forecast was promising in Kananaskis Country compared to here. After such a bleak June, Fab and I were quite willing to drive a combined 7 hours to go visit Mount Head. We left early and reached Sentinel parking lot before 9 AM. The hike in was pleasant despite some muddy sections. After losing height from Grass Pass, we arrived at the approach drainage. We followed a faint trail left of the creek but soon crossed over to the north side where we found more faint trails. The bushwhacking is simple, there isn't much deadfall and the terrain lends itself to easy travelling. Further up the draw, the drainage narrows; at a waterfall, we started to ascend the south-east ridge. Once on the ridge crest, we had a clear view of the upper mountain. We traversed and climbed to the base of the middle sub-peak. From there, the summit ridge looks straightforward. The sky over Mount Head had been grey throughout the day but as we neared the top, it darkened dramatically. We continued along the ridge and came to a short easy slab section. The fun part ended all too soon as we reached the summit. Almost instantly, it started to drizzle. That didn't dampen our spirits, we put on an extra layer and hung out for 45 minutes before heading out. We decided to come down the drainage instead of traversing back to the ridge. This nice option leads back to the waterfall lower down. Then, we casually backtracked along the creek and once on the main trail, we took another long break. We were both looking forward to returning on the well-trodden trail. This outing is long but not difficult.
at the pass

At the pass, we get a good look at Mount Head (left center).


Numerous lovely cows, we don't want to scare them.

good travelling

Off the main trail, there's good travelling on game trails along the creek's north side.

further up the draw

Further up the draw, a waterfall prompts us to start climbing.

south-east ridge

Ascending the south-east ridge, we'll skirt left at the bluffs (top right).

climbing along a rockband

We keep climbing along the rockband instead of traversing.

heading for the break

There's an easy break climber's left of the hightpoint.

crest of the south-east ridge

Crest of the south-east ridge; we are aiming for the tiny snow patch, west of the middle sub-peak.


We traversed towards the top of the bigger waterfall.

at the middle sub-peak

West side of the middle sub-peak with the summit ridge ahead.

along the ridge

Along the summit ridge.

just before the top

Just before the summit, there's a short easy slab section.

summit in sight

The summit is in sight.

at the top

At the top, it starts to drizzle but we still hang out!

holy cross

The connecting ridge to Holy Cross Mountain.

leaving the top

Leaving the top.

looking down on the approach

A good view of the easy south-east ridge and the upper draw.

using the snow

Using the snow on descent.

break at the waterfall

Back at the top of the waterfall; another break, with sun this time.

down the drainage

We continued down the drainage instead of traversing back to the ridge.

going around a rockband

Going around the rockband.

more snow

More snow.

last glimpse

Staying in the drainage eliminates some of the sidehiling.


Nice fossil.

continuing down the drainage

Continuing down the drainage.


Some waterfalls along the way.

back on the main trail

Back on Pack Trail Coulee.

more cows

Perfect area for the cows.

grass pass

Grass Pass.
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