Storm Mountain

I was drawn to this route in Alan Kane’s Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies as it was described as being easier in the early season for two reasons. Firstly, the vegetation is less problematic through the Vermillion Pass burn (a massive fire occurred here in 1968, which has left its mark on the landscape up till today), and second, snow slopes cover a good portion of the scree. I cannot imagine how challenging this approach would be during the height of summer. This scramble was a real slog, beginning with a tree hopping hour and a half bushwhack through the former burn site. Once above the trees, the snow was softer than ideal, which lead to a good deal of post-holing. Above the snow slopes, the steepest part of the route was on chossy scree. Only the last 100 metres of elevation (1500 metres gained overall) was on a solid ridge line to the summit. This being said, the summit views are remarkable. I could pick out most of the major Rocky peaks including Goodsir, Hungabee, a number of the Ten Peaks, Castle Mountain, Mount Assiniboine, and peer far into the interior ranges.

The route begins at the Fireweed / Continental Divide parking area, just across the Alberta / British Columbia border
The route begins at the Fireweed / Continental Divide parking area, just across the Alberta / British Columbia border
Coming out of the trees and deadfall into a scenic area
Coming out of the trees and deadfall into a scenic area
At the base of snow slopes leading partway to the summit. Foreshortening makes the approach seem much less extensive than it is in reality
At the base of snow slopes leading partway to the summit. Foreshortening makes the approach seem less extensive than it is in reality
Above the snow slopes, the route proceeds along loose scree
Above the snow slopes, the route proceeds along loose scree
Looking upwards from nearly the same position as the previous image
Looking upwards from nearly the same position as the previous image
Peaks begin to emerge, including the Rockwall (upper central portion of the frame)
Peaks begin to emerge, including the Rockwall (upper central portion of the frame)
Cornices near the summit were quite obvious and easily avoidable
Cornices near the summit were quite obvious and easily avoidable
Mount Ball (right) begins a vast panorama of peaks that concludes with Mount Assiniboine (probably not visible in this low-resolution image)
Mount Ball (right) begins a vast panorama of peaks that concludes with Mount Assiniboine (probably not visible in this low-resolution image)
Storm Mountain as seen on my postcard from my Virtually There project (I left the postcard in the summit register)
Storm Mountain as seen on my postcard from my Virtually There project (I left the postcard in the summit register)
Monument marking the Alberta / British Columbia border in the parking lot
Monument marking the Alberta / British Columbia border in the parking lot
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