Phillipps Peak Attempt | 2010.04.10
It seemed only area that getting low avalanche forecast in last a month were Waterton/Crowsnest/Fernie area. Me being "I still want winter scramble", I decided to drive to Crowsnest and stay at my house for this weekend again. At least this way, I could poke and annoy my nieces.
I was originally ascending to Mount Tecumseh until I got alpine. Once I saw how much snow on Phillpps Peak, I decided to go to Phillpps instead (I am dumb!!). Seeing the pictures from other sites, I knew traversing from Tecumseh to Phillpps doesn't look possible, I approached from south ridge and hoping I could make the way. Apparently this ended as an attempt. There was a dip right before the summit and I could not find a way. The dip was so well hidden I couldn't see it until I was there.
I used Kane's Scramble book. I parked on side of a road, then took Phillipps Pass from east side. After 3 km of easy walk, I saw a road going towards NE at waypoint "Blue Tape". Despite of the tape and maintained trail (or more like a road), the actual turn off was about 250 m after that (waypoint "Turn Right", also see page 4). Look for a big hydro tower for landmark. I stayed away from drainage the book talks about. Instead I walked on a slope just right side of the drainage. I found a nice animal trail there. Once at waypoint "Cairn 2", the route to Tecumseh was very clear (page 5). From there I scrambled up rather a steep slope for snow covered condition to get on the south ridge (page 6). Once on the ridge, I pretty much stayed on ridge and kept ascending. There were 2 or 3 spots required some scramble. If it was dry, it would be only moderate scramble but with so much snow covered and rocks here were worn out and hard to grab, I had hard time. Eventually I hit the dip near the summit. I found a way to get down west side of summit block (page 14), but I could not traverse to the north side. That's where I gave up.
If Phillipps can be done, my best guess is from north west ridge where I marked a red arrow on the map. But I could not get even close enough to see that side so it is totally my guess.
* Grid References (GR) is based on WGS84 which can be considered as NAD83 (The difference is inciginificant)