Crowsnest Mountain


The symbol of the Crowsnest Pass is the Crowsnest Mountain. You can see it in the picture that the mountain has a unique shape. If you look at the mountain from the town, it seems impossible to climb without involving rock climbing, but actually there is a nice path on the other side. I have climbed the Crowsnest Mountain for four times and I have climbed to the top three times.

Accidentally I have climbed this mountain exactly the same day, August 22nd, two years in a row and it became my tradition to climb a mountain on that day every year, although after I moved away from the Rocky Mountains, it became difficult to keep my tradition going, but I will try to make it happen.

I say the mountain could be divided into three parts: green valley part at the bottom, middle part and top part. The bottom part is not too bad. There are short up hills. The top part is I think the easiest part. There are not steep up hills, but nice easy little uphill path. The middle part is the hard part.

There are three difficult places to climb. The first one is what I call, the Kill Hill. It is at the transition from the green valley to the middle part of the mountain. You will face a steep loose rocky uphill. If you step up 15 inches, you will slip down 10 inches, and you have to hike up all the way for about 150 yards. The first timers will get tired physically and mentally after this hill, but there is still a long way to go. It’s hard to climb, but on the other hand, it’s so fun to run down the hill. You run, jump, loose balance and fall down. Then get up and do the same thing again. It is my favorite part of climbing this mountain.

Before you get the second difficult part, you will see a big waterfall. Although not much water falls, and just left of the waterfall is what some people refer as “Chimney”. There used to be a huge wall of rock, but some nature event broke the wall into half and made a narrow path. That’s what Chimney looks like. Chimney is not loose like Kill Hill, but steeper.

The third challenging part is right at the end of Chimney. It’s time to rock climb. If you are confident rock climbing, then you really don’t need a rope. Just make sure not to fall. But if you are not confident, you need a rope. Usually people who visit the mountain before leave a rope there for others, so you don’t need to bring your own rope. That’s why you can see three ropes and my friend’s ass in the picture. After this, it’s easy hike to the top.

The most memorable thing I remember was the third try on August 22 in 1997. About middle of the way, we saw a wild mountain goat hundreds yards away. My friend’s dad found the goat. He also told us seeing wild mountain goat is once a lifetime event. Even though the goat we saw was as big as a fly, we were very excited about it. But we didn’t have any idea what was waiting at the top. The very same goat was sitting right next to the mountain top pole, and he didn’t move there for 10 minutes or so. He was right there only several yards away from us. If seeing a mountain goat is once a lifetime thing, then how do you describe this, eh?