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Heart Mountain Traverse with direct finish to Heart Creek
Timestamp Free: 2019.05.23 - 10:30:38
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges
(1 days) Elevation Gain: 820m
Participants: Andrea Petzold and Althea Shaw
Difficulty: 3: a straight forward hike up along a well defined trail. a steep descent via an unlikely looking route with no trail initially.
a traverse of heart mountain ascending by east arm of horseshoe to east summit and then main summit and descends directly to heart creek by an unlikely looking route that is pleasant and adventurous.
start at the trailhead for normal ascent route. park off TCH at the east end of guardrail immediately after crossing heart creek. walk 1 km east on the trans canada trail which parallels the TCH and gains no elevation. an unnamed creek flows north from the centre of heart mountain horseshoe. stay on east side of this creek. after crossing the power line, a good trail heads upstream. soon the trail forks: it is important to take left fork which follows to the ridge and best route. follow the good but steep trail along the ridge with views of quaite valley at left. after a small amount of scrambling gain the smaller summit of heart mountain at UTM 322557. travel along an easy ridge to the main summit at UTM 317552. from this summit descend to the NW(along the normal ascent route)only 40 vertical metres to a small saddle with coloured bands of scree pointing to a cirque immediately west of summit. this is an unlikely looking descent with steep cliffs below however it works perfectly. descend 200 vertical metres on the easy travelling scree to the obvious notch below. this leads to a small ramp only 1 metre wide in places. to find this ramp, keep decending and veer hard right(north). there is no trail whatsoever. once under the vertical cliffs, stay on the right side of creek. this is the only creek that descends directly from main summit to the SW into heart creek. it is worth looking for the good descent trail on the right (north)side of the creek. this joins heart creek at UTM 308545 and 1600 m. there is a large pile of small dark grey rocks and cairn. the creek is now underground. follow heart creek to the north along a vague trail. upon reaching the canyon, bypass it on the left (west)side. this will save an unnecessary climb on the right. a well travelled trail now...
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