American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Canadian Rockies, Peaks above "Swan Lake"

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1971

Peaks Above “Swan Lake”. Ten miles southeast of Maligne Lake the headwaters of the Brazeau River’s north fork coalesce into a two-mile-long lake. In early August Arnold Wexler, Morgan Broman, Frank Mettrick, Gene Boss, Lowell Putnam, Brad Swan and I packed in from the landing at Coronet Creek in one rather strenuous day; then we spent most of a pleasant week camped near the southwestern end of this lake, overlooking the Brazeau valley with Mount Poboktan’s inspiring north face dominating the southern vista. From this camp we made two ascents and explored various valleys. The 10,400-foot summit (“Cornucopia Peak”) at the extreme northeast head of the drainage was our first objective. A two-hour hike saw us safely across the streams tributary to “Swan Lake” and above the moraines and ice on the névé at our peak’s southern base. It appears that the Dominion Topographical people must have been there, for much to our chagrin a suitable cairn already adorned the peak. The other ascent was a 10,500-foot summit two miles east of our camp, which we reached by going south along the east side of the Brazeau valley and turning up the tributary which enters next below Swan Lake. We ascended our peak at the south head of this valley by going up moraine, slabs and scree to a col west of the summit with a final very tiring hour fighting the steep and unstable scree and slabs of the west face. Though not technically difficult mountains, they require substantial effort to ascend. We left the area by going west over a high pass and descending to a tributary of Poboktan Creek which led to the fine trail that traverses the frontal ranges via this latter valley.

William L. Putnam

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