Albertawow

Fortress Mountain Scramble

  Ratings:    Ratings 5 Star
Level: Difficult Time/Dist: 4 to 6 hours / 11.5 return Elevation Gain: 1411m

Trailhead: Park at the Chester Lake parking lot located on the east side of gravel highway #40 Smith Dorrien Spray Lakes road 46km's south of Canmore across from the Burstall Pass parking lot. Note, Gravel road access only. Kananaskis Country.

Description: Recommended for experienced hikers only. Locate the trail head on the far left(ne) side of the Chester Lake parking lot. If you decide to do the Headwall Lakes, Chester Lake loop the trailhead to Headwall Lakes is located on the right(se) side of the parking lot. More details regarding the loop can be found here. Follow the trail to Chester Lake. Hike past the lake and follow the trail as it ascends the left side of the headwall. Continue on another 2km's or so then ascend the steep scree slope to the col located below Fortress Mountain. Once you arrive at the col follow the scree trails to the summit of Fortress Mountain. There is a short 3 meter cliff band located just below the summit that is considered an easy scramble with good footing on small ledges however the summit is exposed to a 900 meter cliff dropping straight down it's north face. Resist the urge to take a photo of Fortress Lake located below. The cliff edge looks loose and fractured. Expect 6-8 hours to do the full 20km loop and Fortress Mountain. See Headwall Lakes for more information regarding the loop. If you just want to summit Fortress Mountain, Chester Lake is a shorter route.

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Fortress Mountain Scramble
Headwall Lakes, Chester Lake From Fortress Summit  
   
Fortress Mountain Scramble Fortress Mountain Scramble
Looking Towards Headwall Lakes From Col Col Looking Towards Chester Mountain
   
Fortress Mountain Scramble Fortress Mountain Scramble
Looking Towards Chester Lake From Col Looking Towards Chester Lake From Col
   
Fortress Mountain Scramble Fortress Mountain Scramble
Looking Towards Fortress Mountain From Col Cliff Band Below Summit
   
   
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Headwall Lakes Chester Lake
   
Fortress Mountain Scramble Fortress Mountain Scramble
Summit Fortress Mountain Fortress Ski Hills Below
   
Fortress Mountain Scramble Fortress Mountain Scramble
Fortress Summit. Headwall Lakes Below Summit
   
   
Fortress Mountain Scramble Fortress Mountain Scramble
Headwall Lakes, Chester Lake From Fortress Summit  
   
Fortress Mountain Scramble Fortress Mountain Scramble
   
Fortress Mountain Scramble Fortress Mountain Scramble
Headwall Lakes, Chester Lake From Fortress Summit  
   
Fortress Mountain Scramble Fortress Mountain Scramble
  Headwall Lakes, Chester Lake From Fortress Summit
   
Fortress Mountain Scramble Fortress Mountain Scramble
Headwall Lakes Scree Slope Towards Chester Lake. Unnamed Lake Below
   
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