Pika Peak

elevation: 3,033 m. height gain: 1,330 m.
area: Skoki Area,AB map 82 N/8

Ref: Alan Kane's Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies
pika peak

Mount Richardson (left), Pika Peak (left of center) and Ptarmigan Peak on the right.
Scramble: RT 11.0; 5.5 up. I managed to convince Fab to head out once again before we start harvesting our firewood for the winter season; the weather was far too gorgeous to be out in the bush chopping and chucking logs! When I proposed Pika Peak, he seemed to like the idea of trying a nearby summit in the lovely Skoki area. As usual, we took our bikes for the access road. We stopped at the paddock to say hello to the horses and stashed our bikes at the trailhead. The hike in was pleasant, we quickly reached Hidden Lake. From there, we aimed for the gullies that lead to the ramp. We ascended the far gully climber's right and made our way across the ramp with no difficulties. At the other end of the ramp, we were already above the col. We proceeded to scramble the west ridge. The ridge looks daunting but as we progressed upwards, the way became clear; we stayed near the ridge crest. The blocky terrain offers fun scrambling that isn't too hard; the rock is textured and the route isn't particularly airy. Once on the summit ridge, the highpoint is near; the cairn sits just beyond. The summit ridge is narrow in places; we had wind gusts that made the traverse a bit unnerving at times. After going up and over the highpoint, the cairn was just a couple of steps away. I was thrilled to be at the top of Pika Peak, the scenery is outstanding. We stayed for a while to enjoy the moment and the warm, sunny weather. Returning was just as much fun as the ascent; I was surprised that I felt relatively comfortable on such terrain, I'm easily scared! Back at the ramp, we took another break and watched people on Mount Richardson. Backtracking on the ramp was uneventful; we went down to the lake via the steeper gully. The trek back to the bikes was great; the 10-minute blitz back to the car was even better!
on the trail

On the trail after Hidden Lake campground.

access ramp from the lake

Hidden Lake and the approach ramp on Pika Peak.

start of the ramp

At the start of the ramp.

easy travelling

Easy travelling along the ramp.

nearing the col

Nearing the Richardson/Pika Col.

fun scrambling

Fun scrambling on the west ridge's blocky terrain.

not too exposed

The exposure along the way is relatively easy to deal with.

moderately difficult

The scrambling is not too difficult.

wall of jericho

The wall of Jericho.

pocket glacier

Skirting a pocket glacier on our way to the summit ridge.

merlin lake

Merlin Lake below.

summit ridge

The summit ridge with the highpoint ahead.


Posing at the start of the summit ridge.

getting close

Getting close.

summit cairn

The summit cairn sits beyond the highpoint.

jazz hand

Fab gives me a jazz hand!

view east

View east with Baker Lake and Mount St. Bride on the left.

over the highpoint

Going over the highpoint as we leave the top.

awesome sights

Awesome sights along the summit ridge.

skoki lakes

Skoki Lakes: Zigadenus and Myosotis with Deception Pass on the right.

narrow in places

The summit ridge is narrow in some places.

back to the pocket glacier

Heading back towards the pocket glacier.

careful not to slip

Careful not to slip onto the glacier.

mount richardson

Stunning view of Mount Richardson.

liking this scramble

We're enjoying this type of scrambling.

thumb's up

Thumb's up from Fab!

another break

Taking another break before the traverse on the ramp.

beginning the traverse

Beginning the traverse.

on the ramp

Heading to the gullies at the far end of the ramp.

steeper gully down

Taking the steeper gully down.

looking up

Looking up the gully.

hidden lake

Back at Hidden Lake.

lovely landscape

Lovely landscape towards Mount Richardson.
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