Heart Mountain to Twin Towers

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Heart Mountain
  • Location: Canmore
  • Activity: Scrambling
  • Height: 2,081 m (6,828 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 720 m (2,362 ft)
  • Distance: 5.0 km / Round Trip (3.1 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 16.1°
  • Estimated Time: 1.5-4 hrs
  • Technicality: Intermediate
  • Fitness Level: Moderate
Above stats is only to Heart Mountain. For full stats of this trip please see page 6.

Day 3 of April long weekend. I was still sick. So I decided to do a scramble (makes no sense!).

I parked at side of HW1 just after Heart Creek parking. I took the trail for Heart mountain. The trail is well used and established, if you can manage not to find trailhead, I suggest to stand there for 10 minutes, I bet someone will come. I stayed on the trail until the summit of Grant MacEwan Peak (GR316551). From there I took the south ridge. The ridge was easy hiking until I hit the waypoint "Crux". I found two routes to take. East route was difficult or climber's scramble. West route was easier but still difficult scramble. See page 8 for lines. After the crux, the ridge get narrower and steeper. Before reaching the summit of west peak, you have a choice either take rock or scree (page 7). To get to east summit, I get down the steep south slope from summit cairn and lost 30 m of elevation (page 14). Then turned to east toward east summit.

For decent, I went back the same way but since Heart Mountain trail is quite steep, maybe doing loop by taking horseshoe (also called circuit in Daffern's book) is not a bad option.

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Keep forgetting how Mount McGillivray and neighbours look so awesome.

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Like Holy Cross Mountain where I found many avoidable difficult & climber's scrambles, Heart Mountain has many off-route moderate & difficult scrambles. I was taking a lot harder route this time than the last time I came here.

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Summit cairn? Official summit of Heart Mountain supposed to be around here but there was hardly any high point. Not even sure if Heart Mountain deserves to be a peak in that matter…

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Beautiful Canmore… I'M SICK!! SICK OF SEEING CANMORE!!

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Twin Towers
  • Location: Canmore
  • Activity: Scrambling
  • Height: 2,324 m (7,625 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,370 m (4,495 ft)
  • Distance: 12.0 km / Round Trip (7.5 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 12.9°
  • Estimated Time: 5-8 hrs
  • Technicality: Expert.3a (but avoidable then advanced)
  • Fitness Level: Hard
Closing to Grant MacEwan Peak and my destination Twin Towers appears. Andrea, you are wrong. Heart Mountain and MacEwan are different peaks according to Daffern's book. For that next time you drive (´▽`)

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Boy it's scary looking ridge and peak. Mouseover to see route. At near summit, you can choose to scramble up rock or hike up steep scree.

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According to no longer trusted source, Twin Towers should be cake walk. I hate when some one describes difficult scramble as "easy". These kind of lie can ruin a day. Anyway, I found 2 routes to crack this bad boy. Mouse over to see another photo. Pictures are taken from the tower side so as you approach this crux from MacEwan, all you see is a drop. Right line is more difficult. It's close to vertical but has a nice crack which you can wedge fingers. Left line is easier. Need to take a ledge as far as you can go towards west, then eventually have to down climb a vertical rock, but by this point it should be only 2 to 2.5 m high.

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I found this big rock on top of the ridge. I was puzzled, how the heck did this rock end up here? Things like this make me believe Superman really does exists. It could be the boring guy who works right next to you.

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Ridge gets narrower and steeper, but majority of this ridge is wider than 1 m.

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Twin Towers and Skogan Peak.

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These twins don't look alike at all. Perhaps they look so opposite I couldn't help to give names. East peak (left) is "Gentle one" and west peak (right) is "Cranky one". According to my GPS, Gentle one is higher.

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You asked for it. 270 degree shot from east to north. Mouseover for names.

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I took this steep downhill right at the summit cairn of west peak. After losing 30 m of elevation, I turned and walked towards east to get to east peak.

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Barrier Lake from east peak. I saw a trail going farther, perhaps you can continue and will end up on Jewell Pass → Stoney trail along Barrier Lake. Need horses to do that though.


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