Ward, Mount

elevation: 2,530 m.  height gain: 625 m.
area: Crowsnest Pass,AB
map 82 G/10-G/15

Ref: Alan Kane's Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies

Beautiful sunset.
Scramble: I got invited to go for a sunday scramble in Crowsnest Pass; it was Alison's birthday, I couldn't decline. I drove in saturday and met Brett for supper in Blairmore. After a nice supper, Brett and I settled at a campground right next to leg 6 of the 100-mile Sinister 7 race. Alison was at her brother's wedding and she was planning to meet us late in the evening. Until then, we encouraged the runners and kept them on the right path well into the night. Gotta admit it was a lot of fun to sit on the tailgate, cheering these poor souls while drinking wine; it was one of the highlights of this trip! The following morning we all caravanned to the trailhead, it took us awhile to locate the proper turn off and we ended up starting late. A wide trail leads to Window Mountain Lake, from there we followed a crude trail to the Ward-Allison Col. The hike is straightforward, pleasant and not that long. We tackled Mount Ward first. The short easy scramble is fun especially if you stay on the slabs near the ridge crest. The view towards the Seven Sisters and Crowsnest Mountain from the summit is stunning. The window on Window Mountain is also amazing. After a nice break, we backtracked and started up Allison Peak. The scrambling is more challenging and requires some route finding, progress was really slow. Beyond the first of two false summits, it became apparent that we were running out of time. Despite having the tougher section behind us, Alison wanted to head back down and enjoy her birthday picnic, she was done with this stressful ascent. As difficult as it is to give up on an objective, I turned on my heels to join my partners. We retraced our traverse and used a nice scree run from the col, the descent was quite fast. Once at the lake, Alison picked a nice shaded spot for her picnic. Brett had brought a bunch of goodies and some wine, I was lucky to be part of that spread!

window mountain lake

Window Mountain Lake.
Picture courtesy of Alison Sekera.

beyond window mountain lake

Nice alpine basin beyond the lake.
Picture courtesy of Alison Sekera.

ascending the basin

Ascending the basin on a decent trail.
Picture courtesy of Alison Sekera.

looking back at the lake

Looking back at the lake.
Picture courtesy of Alison Sekera.

almost at the col

Nearing the Ward-Allison Col.
Picture courtesy of Alison Sekera.

climbing mount ward

Climbing Mount Ward with Allison Peak in the background (left).

straightforward ascent

Straightforward ascent.

alison scrambling

Alison scrambling on the ridge crest.

summit ahead

Summit cairn ahead.
Picture courtesy of Alison Sekera.

last steps

Last steps.

racehorse mountain

Racehorse Mountain to the north.

crowsnest mountain

Seven Sisters and Crowsnest Mountain.

window mountain

The large window on Window Mountain is clearly visible.

traverse to allison peak

The traverse to Allison Peak, second objective today.

route finding required

The connecting ridge to Allison Peak requires good route finding skills.

the crux

The crux is a commiting section on an airy downsloping slab.

first false summit

We made it to the saddle beyond this false summit before having to backtrack.

heading back

Heading back to the lake for Alison's birthday picnic.
Picture courtesy of Alison Sekera.

mount ward

A view onto Mount Ward.
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