Schlee, Mount GR:385168

elevation: 2,850 m.
height gain: 1,000 m.
area: Kananaskis,AB
map 82 J/11

Ref: Andrew Nugara's More scrambles in the Canadian Rockies 3rd edition
at the lake

At the lake after a short steepish climb.
Scramble: RT 12.0; 6.5 up. Marta and I had been planning to visit this mountain all summer but it always got trumped by another objective.... This was my last weekend before leaving for Colorado so we decided to finally head out that way and check it out. We met on highway 40 and made our way to the trailhead. We pushed our bikes to the lake, from there it got easier and we were able to ride to where we veered off the Elbow Trail. After stashing the bikes, we continued on gentle meadows looking for a secondary trail. Although we never found that path, we aimed for the well-defined trail that leads to Piper Pass and that one is easy to find. The hiking was pleasant and we made good time in the back of the draw. The conversations were delightful and entertaining, a day with Marta is never a dull affair! We located Mount Schlee and quickly gained treeline. We were surprised to be able to scramble on firm rock most of the way. Route finding wasn't too chalenging and scree could be avoided by travelling on slabs. Higher up, a nice rock spine grants a fun direct scramble straight to the summit ridge. On the ridge, we could see the cairn at the top. We walked to the summit and dropped our stuff; once again, there was little wind and it was warm. The smoke was thick though, it obscruted the view and slowed us down on the ascent. After some summit shenanigans, we backtracked to the rock spine. Instead of following our ascent line, we decided to dive into the gully skier's right and take advantage of the scree. That gully delivered us quickly to treeline. From there, we followed the Piper Pass Trail all the way back to the Elbow Trail. After walking a short distance we retrieved the iron steeds and ate some delicious zucchini bread before getting on the saddle. We biked a short distance when Marta realized she'd forgotten her GPS on the ground. I lent her my light steed and while she went on to get the unit, I had a snooze on the side of the trail. The rest of the return was uneventful and cruisy. The bike ride from the lake to the trailhead is fun and super fast!!! This is a great objective, go for it!

heading to the mountain

After ditching the bikes, we head for the mountain.

native delphiniums

Native Delphiniums.

having fun with a bone

Having fun with bones..

our objective

Our objective ahead.

nearing the mountain

Nearing the upper mountain.

scrambling begins

Scrambling begins.

looking back again

Looking back.

route finding required

A bit of route finding is required.

pleasant scrambling

The rock grants pleasant scrambling.



fun section

Fun sections of hands on.

marta follows suit

Marta follows suit.

typical terrain

Typical terrain.

using a rock fin

Using a rock spine to gain the ridge crest.

more rock fin

More of the rock spine.

happy dance

Happy dance.

summit ridge

Summit ridge with the cairn a short distance away.

garnishing the cairn

We brought the bone to garnish the cairn.

by the cairn

Sun glasses on the bone, bone on the cairn and me giggling!

marta and i

Marta and I.

smoky background

Posing with a smoky background.

leaving the top

Leaving the top.

alternate descent

Choosing to descend in looser terrain.

losing height quickly

Losing height quickly.

skirting our ascent route

Our descent in scree skirts the ascent to its climber's left.

satisfying day

Satisfying day, we finally did Mount Schlee!

walking back to the trail

Walking back to the trail.

creek crossing

No scramble is complete without a creek crossing.

quick rest

A quick rest.

back at the bikes

Reunited with the iron steeds.

smoky sky

Sunset accompanied by a very smoky sky.
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