Eagle Mountain (Goat's Eye)

Trip Category: 
OT - Off-Trail Hiking
Interesting Facts: 

Named in 1958. The mountain was likely named for an eagle spotted soaring near the summit. Official name. A striking feature of this peak is, "The Goat''s Eye" located on the northeast ridge and visible as one travels up Healy Creek. This natural hole in the mountain was first noted by George Simpson who wrote of, "a very peculiar feature in an opening of about eighty feet by fifty, which, as we advanced nearer, assumed the appearance of the gateway of a giant''s fortress." (from peakfinder.com)

Technical Difficulty Level: 
3
Endurance Level: 
Med
YDS Class: 
Hiking

Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Yes
Trip Date: 
Monday, September 25, 2017

After a delightful easy / moderate scramble up Mount Howard Douglas, it was time to add a second peak to my day. Why? Don't ask. I guess I'm still a peakbagger at heart because there's really no reason to grind up Eagle Mountain other than to claim another summit. In my case that's not entirely true. The weather kept clearing as I descended Howard Douglas and as I topped out on the ridiculously easy Eagle Mountain I got even better views from its summit than Howard Douglas', thanks to the clearing clouds.

 


[Crossing the Sunshine Ski Resort boundary (note the string at right) and heading towards Eagle Mountain from Howard Douglas.]


[Passing through a nice larch forest on the way to Eagle Mountain.]

 
[The day continues to improve as I look back at Howard Douglas (L) and over the larch forest under Eagle Mountain. ++]

 

There's really nothing else to add to this easy pile of scree. It was kind of neat to walk through the larch forest between Howard Douglas and Eagle and then to ascend some of the double black diamond ski runs that I've skied in winter.

 


[Looking up "The Cleavage" - a black diamond run in winter and easy scramble when snow free.]

 
[Above The Cleavage now, looking over the ski resort at right and Howard Douglas at left. ++]


[Pretty easy (boring) scree plod to the summit!]


[A chopper checks me out - the summit of Howard Douglas also in this shot.]

 
[Pretty good views looking north (L) and south (R) include Howard Douglas right of center. The peak at left foreground is unnamed. ++]


[Howard Douglas (L) looks scary from this angle!]


[On a clear day, Mount Assiniboine would look awesome from here.]


[Sundance Peak is impressive. And rarely ascended.]

 
[There are only five named summits on the entire 24km length of the Sundance Ridge. Cone Mountain on the SE end, Beersheba (the highest point on the ridge at over 3,000m), Allenby and Mercer near the Allenby Pass - and Sundance Peak near the NW end and left on this photo. ++]

 
[Looking over Banff and Mount Norquay (L) towards Brewster, Cascade, Astley, Aylmer, Inglismaldie, Girouard, Peechee and Rundle (L to R). ++]

 
[Looking west over the Sunshine Meadows towards The Monarch, Twin Cairns, Ramparts, Healy Pass, Haiduk, Sugarloaf, Healy Pass Peak, Greater and Lesser Pharaoh Peaks, Mount Ball (L to R). ++]


[Wild scenery to the west.]

 
[The valley between Eagle, Unnamed (L) and Howard Douglas (R) looks like an interesting spot to visit, as does Brewster Creek running alongside the Sundance Range in the distance at right. ++]

 
[Mount Bourgeau in the foreground with Black Brett and Regular Brett in the distance.]


[I love this shot of The Monarch looming over the Sunshine Village at bottom center. Mount Shanks at left distance here.]

 

After enjoying the views from the top - Howard Douglas looked fierce - I descended easy ski runs back to the base of the mountain before walking down the road and back to my truck in the parking lot.

 


[Great views over Sunshine Meadows as I descend to the top of the Goat's Eye chairlift.]


[Ski resorts always feel lonely in the off season for some reason.]


[Looking back up at Eagle Mountain.]


[Chairlift and larches.]


[Working my way down runs.]


[Howard Douglas at upper left.]


[This is much quicker on skis!]


[The long road back to the parking lot.]

 

I do think it's worth doing these peaks together, but I recommend doing Howard Douglas first like I did, rather than Eagle which is Nugara's suggestion. Howard Douglas is a much better scramble and if you're too tired to bother with Eagle afterwards, you aren't missing out on very much. surprise

Summit Elevation (m): 
2,820
Summit Elevation (ft): 
9,252
Elevation Gain (m): 
1700
Round Trip Time: 
7.50
Total Distance (km): 
15.00
Quick 'n Easy Rating: 
Class 1 : you fall, you're stupid
Difficulty Notes: 

No difficulties other than having the motivation to slog to the summit after presumably already scrambling nearby Mount Howard Douglas.