On the last weekend of May I had plans to go mountain biking in Whistler, but since driving 12 hours alone after two days of riding did not appeal to me – I decided to cancel the plans last minute.
This is when things got really interesting – Theron, another fellow ACC member messaged me wondering if I’d be up for a scramble on Saturday, May 28th. Since Whistler didn’t happen, I promptly agreed. Given the weather forecast did not look too good for Banff/Canmore area, we decided to go down to Waterton – a place that I’m somewhat familiar with, but Theron had never been before.
Plan was set. After going through some trip reports we decided to head down to Sofa Mountain hoping to summit it. Myself, Theron, and a Lisa (ACC guest) headed down south at 6am on Saturday.
For those of you who are not familiar with Waterton, it is an incredible area – it is right near the border with the U.S and it took us 3 hours to get to the trailhead, just off Chief Highway #6. The drive itself is incredible, we took highway 22x all the way and were all blown away by the foothills, wind turbines, and Instagram-Picture-Ready landscapes.
We started our ascend at about 9:30am under moderate winds and sunny skies. The first 2km is right through a beautiful forest where you can just sense the wildlife – if I were a bear, I’d probably hang out in that forest.
Once you are done in the forest, we decided to ascend Sofa through the NE ridge – the ascent route is straight forward, the rock formations are quite large, making it an easy and pleasant scramble. The scramble part lasted no more than 30 minutes, and we were off to a 2.5km ridge walk to the summit of Sofa Mountain.
We reached the summit at noon – and took the EN ridge as our descent route. The scramble down was a little bit more difficult than the ascent because of the minimal snow in the rocks. Once we were back at the bottom of the ridge, we were told by two fellow trekkers about a grizzly hanging out at the ridge just above us.
With the presence of a bear and my desire to become more used to the Canadian lifestyle, myself and Theron sang songs by the Tragically Hip the entire trek back to the car.
Anyway, overall a great moderate scramble in a beautiful area – highly recommended. Can’t wait to be back in the area.
Distance: 12 km round trip
Time: 7 hours car to car