Mount Cheops

The approach to Mount Cheops’ west ridge (Facile, Class 2) involves following the Balu Pass trail from behind the Rogers Pass visitor’s centre to its end, then some route finding through pleasant forest to the base of the west ridge. The Balu Pass trail had either not been a priority, or had been closed due to bear activity during my past visits to Glacier. The trail is excellent however, quite scenic and a moderate grade. I would recommend it to nearly anyone. From the pass, I picked my way around alpine tarns on a broad plateau to a boulder slope that lead to the west ridge. The ridge itself is of good quartzite if you keep to the crest, and the upper sections are somewhat exposed on the east side. Altogether this was an exceptional outing with lots of good photo opportunities.

The route
After around 20 minutes of switchbacking up through dense forest, you are greeted by open avalanche slopes and a view toward the end of the valley
Mountains line the valley on both sides
From a distance, I wondered if this marmot was actually a bear’s head (the rock it is perched on resembled a bear’s torso)
Mount Tupper on the left, and Mount Macdonald on the right. Two sentinels guarding the Trans Canada Highway
The west ridge of Mount Cheops comes in to view from Balu Pass
Mount Bonney and the Bonney Glacier peek out above a magical alpine plateau
Another view of that magical alpine plateau. The peaks of the Cougar Valley basin are in the background
A mountain goat scrambles along the west ridge, not 100 vertical metres from the summit!
The summit ridge (mounts Avalanche, Eagle, Uto, and Sir Donald to the left of the peak, the Asulkan group to the right)
The Swiss Peaks and The Hermit come into view (left edge of the frame)
Summit view looking to the northwest
Glacier Lily (erythronium grandiflorum)
Mount Tupper, Mount Macdonald, and wildflowers, what more can you ask for?
Mount Tupper pokes out from above the roofline of the now abandoned Glacier Park Lodge

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