Thursday, February 10, 2005

Crowsnest Mountain in Winter2

Brad Hagen sent me an email with some good information on early season conditions on Crowsnest Mountain a few seasons ago. I thought I would post it here for everyone. Thanks Brad.

I've done it really early Winter before too much snow piles up, and late Winter after the main gulley has avalanched. The main trick is the snow stability of the gulley itself; the upper slopes are often blown-free of significant snow, and usually well-rimed up. While avalanche hazard isn't too bad higher up, routefinding and climbing can be surprisingly testy, with 1 - 2 " of snow and thin ice on top of downsloping rock slabs. Falling off seemed to be a bigger concern than avalanches, and I've been turned around the last 200' feet more than once due to thin ice & snow on top of awful rock.

We also camped just below the gulley, just for the hell of it. The wind creates a great spot for a nice campsite (need a shovel to dig in), but there is danger of rockfall. I got nailed by a rock when setting up our tents. If I hadn't had a helmet on I probably would be dead (cracked helmet), and we didn't sleep much that night consequently. No real sheltered spots for tents that seemed 100% free of potential rockfall. I'm attaching some pics of our camp.

image 1

image 2

image 3

To contact Brad, email him at brad.hagen at


At 2/10/2005 11:46:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the info chris. I figured rock fall would be a concern. I wonder if rock fall would be less of a concern when it was colder out? had thought that there might be a campsite around the bottom of the gully. Ah the rockies and there not so rocky rotten rock. Cheers 

Posted by scott harms


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