Unfortuntely it's a less pleasant ascent for 950' up the W side of Hillcrest to its apex - a dirt bike high-marking scar starts things off, then some steep side-hill climbing, followed by considerable unstable rock bashing.
However, the effort is well worth it since there are good views from the summit of Turtle Mt. to the N, Byron Hill and the prairies to the E, and the divide peaks to the SW. Maverick and Cherry Hills, along with McCarty and other peaks of the Castle region were clearly visible, as well. Particularly striking was the major summit of the area, Crowsnest Peak (See Crowsnest Mt).
The col from which the final push to the summit of Hillcrest begins is also the start of a lengthy traverse over to Hastings Ridge and then SE to its high point. One could also ramble over to Willoughby Ridge or along the exploration road to the back side of Turtle Mt.
Mardy and I actually followed the crest of Hastings SE (which is not listed in Bivouac) as our return route from Hillcrest; here is an account of that traverse:
After a tedious and somewhat unpleasant descent back to Hillcrest col, we took shelter under a fir while it rain and hailed for half an hour. We then thought we might have a try for the high point on Hastings Ridge; the problem here is that there are four bumps on this ridge, each of which possessing a neraly identical elevation on... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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