Pigeon Mountain is unique in the Bow Valley west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
The beautiful, sunny, summer day is perfect for hiking the alternate summit of Pigeon Mountain which is nearer and slightly lower than the true summit.
The hike will be about 8 kilometers (5 miles) in, and 8 kilometers out. Elevation gain is 990 m (3,248 ft), to a maximum elevation of 2,385 m (7,800 ft).
The lower summit requires a short, easy, scree scramble above the green triangle. There are magnificent floral displays near the top and a solar powered radio relay station at the summit.
Views to the west across Skogan Pass include Mount Collembola, Mount Allan, Mount Lougheed, Windtower Mountain and the Three Sisters above Canmore, Alberta, Canada in the Bow Valley Corridor.
Looking east, massive Mount McGillivray dominates the view but Lac des Arcs, and Yamnuska, on the other side of the Bow Valley Corridor are prominent in the distance. Air is still. The sun is bright. Alone on a mountain with thoughts surrounded by incredible natural beauty does not get much better than this.
The retreat from Pigeon Mountain occurs via the same route taken for the ascent and resisting the urge to off-trail straight down the mountain to bushwhack onto the old ski runs. The shorter informal route is tempting but the last attempt was unsuccessful and a bit of a character builder.
Today is intended to be a lazy day. The ski runs are not visible from the top, so aim must be true, and to miss makes the descent far more challenging than the formal trail alternative.