Eiffel Peak

Elevation: 3084 m
Elevation Gain: 1230 m
Eiffel Peak was named by Arthur O. Wheeler in 1908 for the tower of rock located immediately next to it. This tower was also named by Wheeler for its resemblance to the Eiffel tower. The tower and the peak are separated by a 120 m notch.
My Ascents:
September 30 2011, September 25 2010, September 28 2008
Trailhead: Moraine Lake Parking

Many (including Kane) consider Eiffel Peak to be a good alternative to an ascent of nearby massive Mount Temple if the weather is unsettled. I think it’s time that we give this peak its due! The summit of Eiffel Peak is one of the most spectacular vantage points in the Canadian Rockies and matches anything offered atop Temple. Plus, Eiffel Peak has something that Mount Temple never will: a stunning view of Mount Temple! In the event that it’s not apparent, Eiffel Peak is a personal favorite of mine; particularly during larch season. During the second and third weekends of September, there may be thousands of people littering the trail to Sentinel Pass, yet you’re likely to have this peak all to yourself (and if you got a proper alpine start, you’ll have the best spot in the crowded Moraine Lake parking lot to boot)! The ascent route branches off the Sentinel Pass trail shortly after you reach Larch Valley and offers a stunning view into Yoho which cannot be seen from Sentinel Pass. Beyond this, the scrambling is pleasant and never difficult or intimidating. For being a significant elevation gain, the summit of Eiffel sneaks up on me much faster than expected every time! So come on, let’s give this peak the respect that it deserves!

Deep breath. Okay, Eiffel Peak rant out of the way. Seriously, Eiffel is sweet. So much so that I excitedly made my way back there (after a bit of a later start than originally intended) to once again catch it during peak larch season. Since I was solo, I had to wait at the Sentinel Pass trailhead until I could find a group of 4 to latch onto. After a couple minutes, I joined a gentleman who worked in oil and gas in Calgary. Being recently graduated and still unemployed, I thought this would be the perfect chance to network a little. Unfortunately, this fellow wasn’t particularly friendly so once we got to Larch Valley, I politely thanked him (and his much friendlier wife) for the company and high-tailed it towards Eiffel.

Another beautiful September day in Larch Valley!

Fortunately, the route up was a lot less snowy than during last September's pilgrimage!

The Tower of Babel already looking somewhat diminutive behind Larch Valley. Panorama Ridge and Protection Mountain beyond.

First glimpses of Moraine Lake below Mounts Babel and Fay.

The spectacularly glaciated Mount Fay.

Good spot for a snack! You could call that a view...

Catching a glimpse of Pinnacle Mountain and Paradise Valley through a gap in the rock walls on ascent.

Terrain growing a little more challenging. Almost at the top now!

Summit! The cairn atop Eiffel Peak is almost as impressive as the view. I've actually managed to spot this cairn from numerous other peaks!

The penultimate summit: #49.

The continental divide running along the sharp ridge between Wenkchemna Peak, Hungabee Mountain (the highest), Ringrose Peak and Glacier Peak. Mount Yukness and the Lake O'Hara area are obscured by these massive peaks.

The tourist route on Temple looking rather inviting.

Moraine Lake, the Tower of Babel and Panorama Ridge beyond.

The Tower of Babel. Wonder what's on TV over there right now?

Crisp fall air made for excellent visibility. Mount Abderdeen, Haddo Peak, Mount Sheol and Saddle Mountain on the other side of Paradise Valley.

Beyond Paradise Valley, looking into Skoki. Mount Richardson on the far right.

Posing with four of the Ten Peaks (Babel, Fay, Little (odd choice of name) and Bowlen.

Looking towards Lake Louise: Mount Lefroy, Collier Peak, Mount Whyte, Mount Abderdeen and Haddo Peak.

The Waputik Icefield beyond Collier and Pope's Peaks.

The distinctive Dolomites visible in the distance.

Little Hector and Mount Hector.

Impressive views of Mount Vaux much deeper in BC.

An assortment of peaks visible in the distance beyond Mount Fay.

Glaciated Mount Ball.

Talk about a clear day! Very distant, but surprisingly visible: Mounts Sparrowhawk and Bogart in Kananaskis Country.

The long expanse of the Castle Mountain massif across the Bow Valley.

Mount Cory and Mount Rundle in the distance. In between must be Banff.

The Eiffel Tower for which Eiffel Peak is named.

Paradise Valley panorama. Click to see larger.

Glacial moraines effectively damming melt water into beautiful tarns at the headwaters of Paradise Creek.

Exploring around the summit. Steep cliffs!

All in a day’s work! I love my job! ;)

Tower envy.

Another day, another summit register.

Last year's entry – looking a little wet!

Million dollar view.

A surprisingly quiet Sentinel Pass trail in Larch Valley below. While I would normally applaud the lack of people, on this day, I would need to find another group of 4 to hike down with – lest I be fined by Parks Canada!

Taking in the panorama of the Ten Peaks (Mounts Babel, Fay, Little, Bowlen, Tonsa, Allen, Tuzo, Deltaform, Neptuak and Wenkchemna (not pictured here)) one last time before heading down. Click to see larger.

Early evening in September = long shadows. Eiffel Peak and Tower casting their shadow on Pinnacle Mountain with Temple beyond. After running down the rest of the scramble and almost all of the trail back to Moraine Lake, I was, at last, able to find a group of 4 (a lovely family) to join. They seemed quite perplexed when a sweaty stranger ran up behind them repeatedly yelling "Yo Bear" but after some explanations, they were eager to hear all about my many adventures in the Rockies. A pleasant end to another perfect day on Eiffel Peak!