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A Winter Ascent and Traverse of Boom Mountain
Timestamp Free: 2020.03.29 - 06:30:16
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges / Bow Range
  (1 days)
Participants: Bob Saunders, Reg Bonney, Chris Thorsteinsson, Alan Kane, and Rick Collier
Difficulty: 3: Avalanche hazard; steep skiing through bush
This report recounts a frigid early winter ascent of Boom Mountain from Chickadee Valley followed by a descent to Boom Lake
Boom Mountain (9050 feet) is one of the more prominent and easily observed peaks in the Southern Rockies; anyone who has driven from Castle Junction to Radium has passed right by it and probably examined its flanks from just W of Vermilion Pass. It's impressive east-facing cliffs and ramparts (ascended in 1968 by J. Farrand and R. Lofthouse in a technical tour de force requiring F7/A2 climbing) are also obvious to anyone who has taken the time to do the easy hike in to Boom Lake. There are probably also a fair number of alpine scramblers who have attempted Boom Mountain from the Radium highway it looks like a straightforward ramble up the S ridge; however, major and insurmountable cliffs block the ascent part way up.

Nevertheless, a pleasant, although longer, route is possible up the back side of Boom. One starts up the valley about 3.3 km SW of the Boom Lake parking area; locally this pretty little area is know as Chickadee Valley (see map 82 N/1 Mount Goodsir). Although one can turn right (N) after two or three kilometres, as did the Dominion Survey, who made the first ascent in 1903, and ascend the S slopes, an approach less likely to be complicated by cliffbands can be made by continuing some 5.8 km to the head of the valley, at which point one turns N and ascends 1350 feet to a small, larch-covered col at 7550 feet at GR 631/779 on 82 N/8 (Lake Louise). At the col one turns again to the right (E) and bashes up scree and over a series of false summits for 1500 feet and 2 km to the true summit. A very pleasant day of a little over 18 km total distance and 3700 feet of elevation gain.

However, on December 17, 1988, five of us: Bob Saunders, Reg Bonney, Chris Thorsteinsson, Alan Kane, and Rick Collier -- decided to try this ascent route (plus a different return)...

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