Ship's Prow Mountain GR:137558

elevation: 2,636 m. height gain: 940 m.
area: Smith-Dorrien/Spray Area,AB map 82 O/3

Drive south past the Goat Creek parking lot on the Spray Lakes gravel road. Cross the bridge over to the east side of the canal and park at the gate, 121536. We hiked about 100 meters on the canal's service road and started up the west facing slopes at a clearing. The treed terrain is easy to travel through. We veered climber's left as we ascended and skirted the south-west gully of the objective; aiming to reach treeline at 133545. From there, gain the summit ridge and head north over a highpoint dotted by a huge cairn. The summit is a bit further, it's easily reached by circumventing the summit block on the west side.
crystallized snowpack

Shallow crystallized snowpack...

ship's prow mountain

Ship's Prow Mountain (center).
Snowshoe trip: RT 8.0; 5.0 up. We got the idea of doing this outing via the south ridge after reading a trip report from the Ramblers. We figured it could be a good candidate for a winter ascent after a couple of strong wind events scoured the alpine; this time seemed right! After a stressful drive, we finally parked at the trailhead; we slowly prepared, not particularly determined to get going... It was quite windy, we embraced the sheltered ascent in the forest. Travelling was pleasant and the snowpack wasn't deep at first. As we proceeded, the grade steepened and the depth of the snow increased. The heavily crystallized shallow snowpack made snowshoeing challenging, even for the person behind. Meanwhile, we could hear the excited yelping of the numerous sled-dog teams below on the frozen lake; the familiar sounds made us smile. Nearing treeline, unsupportive soft slabs had formed and we felt knackered punching through the knee-deep snow; we continued with a promise of scoured terrain above treeline. Once on rock, we traded shelter and hardship for easy travel, exposed to the mighty wind. The sun was peering through the clouds at times; we climbed to the summit ridge and walked to the highpoint with the big cairn. The rest of the ridge remains straightforward, it soon leads to the summit block that we circumvented on the west side for easy access to the top. The wind quickly chilled us even with all our layers; we took pictures and grabbed a quick bite before retracing our steps back. At 4 PM, we reached treeline and strapped on the snowshoes; sheltered from the wind we took another brief break before the speedy descent ahead. We got to the truck with 15 minutes of daylight to spare. This was a fine way to wrap up 2013!

Treeline, bye bye shelter.

summit ridge

The objective (left center) and a highpoint with a big cairn.

at the highpoint

Big Sister south of us, from the highpoint.

looking back

Looking back, the arrow indicates where we crested on the ridge.

summit ahead

The summit ahead.

around the summit block

Circumventing the summit block.

looking back again

Looking back again.

easy gully

We chose an easy gully to climb.

lawrence grassi

Mount Lawrence Grassi in the sun.

at the top

Standing on the cairn at the windy top; whoot, whoot!

view south

View south along the ascent ridge.

ship's prow

The actual Ship's Prow points to the Flatlands to the east.

leaving the top

Coming down the gully.

another route

Another route mentioned continues down the gully.


Cornices on the lee side of the scoured ridge.

good travelling

Good travelling, wind aside...

eager for shelter

Eager to reach treeline for shelter and another pause.

down the trench

Following the trench back down.
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