2 Hawk Mountain scouting missions

Here are two looks at Hawk Mountain, sitting beside a bend in Highway 16 in Jasper National Park. I took two trips, January and February, to scout out routes to the top.

Hawk Mountain PanoramaHere’s some particulars:

Elevation: 8350 ft

Total Climb height: 5100 feet. That’s like climbing the Empire State Building three-and-a-half times. Then you gotta come down

This is a fairly ambitious scramble in summer. The guides claim it’s about 7 to 10 hours to cover 10.5 miles.

On the first scout, I wanted to check the standard route.

Highway view of Hawk Path1This was a great hike. Mid-January it had been several degrees above freezing for, like, 10 days, and it was even warmer for this scramble. You can see the point where I stopped. That’s where the climbing is mostly rock. I was alone, and was starting to run into deep snow. If I’d gotten hurt, it would have taken a helicopter to get me out. 

Actually, it’s a bit of a story. I didn’t follow any plan or map. I had an idea that there was a chimney in the two mile length of rock outcrop where they say you need to get up from the wooded slope through to the alpine ridge. I wanted to spot it, detoured through a 300 foot gorge, then went ahead on instinct. That rock-face to the left of the peak is about two miles long.

Long story short. I went straight to it. 

 

I had to compare the video I took to pictures others had taken of this crucial middle point on the climb.

The Second Trip

Highway view of Hawk Path 2

From the highway, this looks like a kinder, gentler path, but it also looks like it adds a good 2 miles to the journey. As I learned from the first trek, one gorge can make a seemingly easy path extremely difficult.

This time, the enemy was snow. And Cold.Mountain Hammock

 

 

Winter Mountain Selfie

 

 

 

 

It’s almost impossible to convey the scale of what you’re looking at, but I caught this video of a chopper in the valley to the west of me.

February Hike
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End of First Hike
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First Hike
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