East End of Rundle (EEOR) - Canmore - Hiking Alberta

 

The East End of Rundle is on the west side of Whitemans Gap above Canmore, Alberta, Canada.

 

EEOR, East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

Mount Rundle is a prominent mountain stretching northwest between the Town of Canmore and the Town of Banff, in Banff National Park, along the southwest side of the TransCanada Highway west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__01 The view from Quarry Lake parking to the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada
 

 

There are seven distinct peaks on the nearly 12 KM (7½ mile) long monolith with the third peak from the west end being the true summit at 2,958 m (9,675 ft).  The EEOR summit tops out at 2,545 m (8,350 ft) after a hike and easy scramble on a 2.6 KM (1⅝ mile) gaining 875 m (2,870 ft) trek as documented in the Kananaskis Country Trail Guide, 4th Edition, Volume 3. 

The Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies version, by Alan Kane, is to a different, nearby peak further west at 2,950 m (8,497 ft) with slightly longer access.  The profile for elevation gain and grade is similar to Ha Ling Peak on the other side of Smith-Dorrien Trail but the hiking experience is substantially different.

Parking is normally at the first parking area past Whitemans Pond dam at the top of Canmore Hill or alternatively, at the Goat Creek Day Use Area.  Between them there is a vacant and roomy rise beside Whitemans Pond which is nearest the two flagged trail accesses between two power poles north of Goat Creek

Today's best quality trail-head seems to be near the northerly power pole where rugged trail gains altitude rapidly but forward progress is soon blocked by dead branches signalling a direction reversal past the sign warning against handling any unexploded bombs.  Explosives are used on this slope in winter for avalanche control.

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__02 A view south to the Goat past Goat Creek Day Use at my parking spot at Whitemans Pond across from East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__03 The chosen trail-head is a short distance north near the power pole at the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__05 A trail-head choice near the second power pole at the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__06 The trail gains altitude rapidly across Smith-Dorrien Trail from Whitemans Pond on the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__07 The first switchback at the unexploded bomb warning sign on the trail up the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

The trail is moderately steep and rugged.  Just past the large boulder, the left switchback turns to the right through forest onto more rocky terrain.

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__08 Rugged trail on the left switchback ascent to the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__09 The ascent provides a good aerobic workout on the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__10 Varied trail through forest makes the moderately steep ascent more interesting on the route up the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

Conventional trail switches to a mixture of rocky trail interrupted by sections through, up, over and past rock slab.  Hand holds are occasionally expedient for stability.  Main trails are marked with occasional bits of flagging tape or small cairns.  However, there are several route possibilities with a variety of branches leading to dead ends, no doubt created by previous legions of hikers searching for easier alternatives or an excellent location for photographs.  This climb will be most enjoyable for experienced hikers with route finding experience.

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__12 Trail over and up rock slab sections on the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__13 Rock slab sections on the ascent along a ridge line on the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__15 The occasional clear view to the top of the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__16 Views of Ha Ling Peak begin to open up from the trail on the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

Short sections of trail become easy scrambles tracking the east side of the ridge for excellent views of Ha Ling Peak, the Town of Canmore and familiar peaks of the mountain-surrounded Bow Valley Corridor.  

Note:  It is important to read the definition for the grading of scrambles in Alan Kane's, 'Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies', 'New Addition'  Page 22 and 23.

The grading of 'Easy', 'Moderate', and 'Difficult' scrambles apply to ideal surface conditions only and these definitions mean something entirely different than the inexperienced person would assume so It is important to understand what may be encountered and to build experience levels carefully over time and event.

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__19 There are short sections of easy scrambles on the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__20 Ha Ling Peak with Three Humps and Mount Lawrence Grassi behind from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__21 Views beginning to open up over Canmore and the Bow Valley from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__23 A view down to Whitemans Pond at the base of Ha Ling Peak from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__26 Whitemans Pond the dam, Canmore and the Bow Valley from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

As altitude is gained aggressively, and trees begin to thin out, the summit becomes consistently visible.  There is a final forest section on a plateau which provides a welcome bit of a breather on interesting and mixed trail segments before the next ascent section.

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__27 Approaching a treed plateau on the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__28 A tree covered plateau on the approach to the summit of the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__29 Grand views of surrounding mountains and valleys from the plateau on the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__30 A clear trail leading to mixed hiking/scrambling through the plateau forest on the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__31 A view back across Canmore to Grotto Mountain from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

The alpine zone provides a consistently clear view to the top after exiting the forest.  There are multiple route options between very aggressive and moderately easy.  The end target is a fissure in the mountain face because planned time constraints on this day will prevent making the top.  This first effort has been a fascinating exploratory mission and the the descent which will be achieved on a alternate route.

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__35 Climbing in the alpine towards the summit of the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__38 There are many route options on the final ascent of the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__39 Approaching the large cleft in the face of the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__40 A view at the rift towards the grassy triangle on Pigeon Mountain backed by massive Mount McGillivray past Canmore  from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__41 A view including Pigeon Mountain in the distance and Ha Ling Peak next door from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

Reversing direction provides spectacular views of The Goat on the other side of Goat Creek in the valley to the south below Mount Rundle.

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__42 Goat Creek snakes its way beneath The Goat as viewed from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__45 A view south to Goat Pond and the canal at the base of Ha Ling Peak from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__47 Whiteman's Pond at the base of Ha Ling Peak on the descent of the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__49 The Bow Valley, Ha Ling Peak, Three Humps and Mount Lawrence Grassi from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__50 A descent view south along the canal with Goat Pond in the distance from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada.  Note the bridge over the canal leading to the trail-head for Ha Ling Peak.

 

Instead of tracking the east side of the ridge, trail segments to the right are chosen which will provide a different route down the mountain.  After carefully descending several slabs, a less used trail is selected at the tree line.  This is about to become a significant adventure. 

Initially, the trail appears somewhat civilized but expected switchbacks do not appear and the lightly or seldom used trail, which shows no signs of recent activity, heads straight down a steep slope.  There is a lot of dead fall across the trail and occasionally, thin ground cover over rock slab gives way in spite of leaning heavily on hiking poles.  The descent is vigorous and exciting. 

Have I found the old trail for 'sheep and goats' as referred to in Gillean Daffern's, 'Kananaskis Country Trail Guide'?  Perhaps this is a climbers descent route off the south slope after the technical ascent of a north face route on Mount Rundle.  Unknown but it is a lot of fun and the descent is quick.

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__51 The beginning of the randomly chosen descent route off the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__52 Sections of loose gravel over slab are encountered frequently on the descent from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__54 Colorful and interesting features on this steep descent trail from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__55 A huge collection of pine cones as critters store food for winter along the trail off the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__56 Lots of deadfall on this trail off the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__57 Rustic rockfall features along the this steep descent off the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

The rustic trail makes lateral crossings over areas of rockfall.  These rugged and short horizontal sections are brief reprieve in the vertical onslaught until this trail mercifully flattens out at the bottom of the valley to end in a swamp.  Well, isn't this a lucky day? 

Through the trees, the end target is visible and the off trail to get there is moderately challenging but short and reasonably straightforward.  The swamp contains dry ridges with openings through dense brush which serve as hiking high points.  The swamp contains stunningly beautiful water features and the rich forest aroma is energizing.

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__58 Relatively horizontal traverse past rock slides on the lower descent from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__59 Descending on rockfall from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__60 Lots of deadfall across this descent from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__61 The trail levels out at valley bottom on the descent from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__62 Arrival at the swamp in the valley bottom after the descent from the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__63 Beautiful water features in the valley wetlands after the descent off the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

Emergence from forest onto the Smith-Dorrien Trail occurs slightly north of the Goat Creek Day Use Area, for a short uphill hike to the car parked beside Whitemans Pond.

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__64 Leaving the forest near the Goat Creek Day Use Area at the end of the descent off the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__65 Back to parking after the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

East End of Mount Rundle, Canmore, Alberta, Canada__66 The big crack in the east face of Mount Rundle near the upside endpoint on the East End of Mount Rundle above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

The full day mission of the loop around the Daffern and Kane summits will be a future project.  

In past years, with younger everything, this mission would have been pushed to get the hike done within the available time.  After more than five decades of hiking, most of it in the mountains, this whole experience has little if anything to do with haste.  It is about observation and appreciation and wandering and soaking up the experience.  Often the most valuable moments of the hike are the ones taken to pause and look about at splendid panoramas.  The mountain, like a good friend, will always be there another day.

Photographs for this post of the hike and scramble on the East End of Mount Rundle (EEOR) from Whitemans Gap above Canmore were captured on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

 

 

 

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A stunningly spectacular 'hoot'!

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