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Pilot Mountain

Difficulty: 
Moderate Scramble With Difficult Section
Elevation [m]: 
2935
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
19.4
Ascent Time: 
4:50
Bushwhackyness: 
Not too bad lots of moss
Tripdate: 
Sunday, July 17, 2011

This was certainly an interesting day! Ken and I had originally planned to meet up with Anthony and scramble up Cascade in Banff but due to some poor cell phone reception we couldn't get a hold of him (and saw that the upper parts of Cascade were still covered in snow) so we decided to switch plans and head to Pilot Mountain instead, which proved to be a pretty excellent choice. The approach to Pilot goes along the Redearth Creek trail (which had slogged through earlier in the summer when heading to Copper Mountain) a fairly indeterminate distance before breaking off left into the bush towards Pilot's slopes. Our path went about 5k into the trail before spotting a small cairn stone and a faint trail upwards. The slog through the spongy moss continues on for an hour or so interlaced with some rocky parts (look for pink flags marking the trail on the other side of the rocks) before reaching the bowl with a great view of Pilot's protected upper plateau. The crux was still very much covered in snow at this time and lead to some additional difficulties. After passing the crux there is still some nice easy scrambling before the proper summit plateau which has the best summit view I've seen to date. To the south Mt. Assiniboine stands tall while the glaciated face of Mt. Ball broods to the northwest. Kane's description of carrying on to Mt. Brett is probably feasible but we went back the way we came, save that for another day. On the way down we came across a mountain biker who had fallen and hurt her ankle and wanted to get an ambulance. I ended up taking her bike back to the trail head (where there was cell reception) and 911 reccomended a helicopter rescue, which seemed like overkill but got her out safely (and was a neat experience to see up close)!

 

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