Elevation: 3121 m
Elevation Gain: 1350 m
Mount Sparrowhawk, like many other Kananaskis peaks, was named after a WWI battleship involved in the battle of Jutland. All told, 6 ships have borne the name HMS Sparrowhawk. To the best of my knowledge, only 1 mountain has been named after any of them. Although once touted as a potential location for downhill ski events at the 1988 winter Olympics, you will not find any chair lifts here – only scree and for that we can be thankful!
August 11 2012, September 22 2011, July 25 2010
Ever since seeing my photos from last summer’s trip up Mount Sparrowhawk, all of my usual scrambling cohorts have wanted to join me on this peak and I would love to take each and every one of them up to its summit…but those suckers are all working right now and I’ve got peaks to bag! Another day, another solo scramble.
Ignoring Kane's suggestion that I bushwhack up a drainage, I instead took the path he insists that you should not, ending up exactly where I wanted to. The summit of Mount Sparrowhawk on the left and Read's Tower (actually almost 500 m lower than Sparrowhawk despite how it appears from here). The route ascends between the two.
Fall colors = ticking clock on scrambling season
Gaining elevation along the base of Read's Tower. Mount Nestor and Old Goat Mountain across Spray Lake.
The route consists of a seemingly unending pile of rubble before the final more intimidating summit block. Add a dash of snow to keep things from getting too dull.
Snow dunes at the col to the right of the summit block. From this point on the wind remained a sustained ~100 km/hr. Both the windchill, and just keeping on your feet proved challenging!
Trying not to blow off my 47th summit of the year. Yet another 10,000+ foot peak!
Looking south past the slightly higher Mount Bogart (3144 m) to the Kananaskis range (including Mount Lawson, Mount Inflexible, Mount James-Walker, the Fortress, Gusty Peak, Mount Chester, Mount Galatea and the Tower). The continental divide, including 11,000ers Mount Joffre and Sir Douglas, in the background.
The snowy upper pyramid of Mount Bogart is often visible from Calgary. Kananaskis Valley behind.
Mount Joffre, the tallest peak in Kananaskis.
Looking to the south end of Spray Lake.
The abrupt drop down to the Kananaskis Valley to the east.
Once again, Mount Bogart (right) dominates the view. Ribbon Peak above the Memorial Lakes and in front of Mount Kidd. The snowy peak in the distance is Fisher Peak.
Fisher Peak and Mount Kidd.
Looking north past a sunny Mount Lougheed and shaded Three Sister to the Bow Valley and Canmore beyond.
A sunny Cascade Mountain and a shady Mount Rundle over Banff in the distance beyond the Big and Middle Sister.
Two of Mount Lougheed's four summits. Nugara claims this is a climber's scramble. Too bad…
Wind Mountain, reddish Mount Allan and the prairie beyond.
Fall colors over Spray Lake.
The thing-a-ma-jig on top of Mount Sparrowhawk. Its resilience to wind is impressive!
Weather station atop Pigeon Mountain to the northeast. Yamnuska in the distance where the mountains meet the prairies.
Yamnuska, Door Jamb Mountain and Loder Peak.
Frozen fingers: check
Frozen toes: check
Last summit shot before hightailing it down: check!
Mounts Eon and Aye flirting with the clouds near Assiniboine. If Eon and Aye are in the clouds, that doesn't bode well for the chances of Assiniboine making an appearance...
The most I saw of Assiniboine. Time to get to the car and thaw my extremities!