Boundary Peak (Porcupine Loop)

Interesting Facts: 

I'm not sure where Boundary Peak / Ridge gets its name. It's on the boundary of the Rockies front ranges but I suspect it's a somewhat random moniker. It should not be confused with the more official Boundary Peak near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park.

Trip Category: 
SC - Scrambling
Technical Difficulty Level: 
5
Endurance Level: 
High
YDS Class: 
3rd Class

Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Yes
Trip Date: 
Saturday, May 19, 2018

Boundary Peak was the highest point on Wietse and my 21km, 1700m+, 10.5 hour Porcupine Loop traverse. As we started the seemingly long trek from Crown Peak towards Boundary Ridge, we were starting to realize that this is a pretty big day - especially for a bunch of front range, unofficial summits. It was also a gorgeous day. Perfect for ridge hiking in every way. No wind. Not too hot. Great views. We were enjoying ourselves very much as we dropped to a low point between Crown and Tiara before starting back up yet another scree / rock ridge slope on the traverse.

 

There was some brief, enjoyable, easy scrambling on a rocky ridge before we ascended scree and started a snowy traverse to access Boundary Ridge (which I'm NOT claiming as a separate summit cheeky). The snow traverse was awesome, providing some relief from scree but also some great alpine feel to our long day. Tiara Peak looked fantastic from north of it's summit block. Wietse and I had good memories of a late November day, over a decade previous when we were last on this ridge as part of our Belmore Brown / Tiara Peak scramble.

 


[Wietse starts down the east ridge of Crown Peak towards the ridge leading up under Tiara Peak towards Boundary Ridge.]


[The ridge is very enjoyable.]


[Wietse contemplates the rest of our day. We're not quite half way yet...]


[Another narrow, fun section of ridge with Crown rising behind Wietse here.]


[Nice views into the south fork of Porcupine Creek with Wasootch Ridge and Old Baldy in the distance.]


[The ridge was more fun than expected with some interesting formations.]


[A hole in the ridge.]


[More interesting views back down into the south fork of Porcupine Creek.]


[It's a grunt!]


[Thankfully steep scree is not the norm on the traverse.]

 
[One of my favorite little sections of the traverse was along this snow scoop on the transition from Porcupine Ridge to Boundary Ridge, passing Tiara Peak. This is looking down the north fork of Porcupine Creek with Boundary Peak at right of center (not the first two bumps at right). ++]

 

The ridge from Tiara's north cliff face to Boundary Peak was very enjoyable. We both commented more than once how good we were still feeling at this point. I think it's because although our pace wasn't slow, we did take time for the occasional break and I was taking a crapload of photos for some reason which tends to give me lots of short breaks. There were a few sections with easy to moderate scrambling - mostly downclimbs - but they were low consequence and not an issue. As usual there were plenty of dips along the way too, the elevation gains were slowly adding up by the time we finally topped out on the highest point of our day, past the half way point at around 13:00 or 6 hours into it.

 


[We're now much higher than Crown Peak and much much higher than Porcupine Ridge / Tower (C). Wasootch Peak at middle left is also much lower than us.]

 
[Looking up at Tiara's north and east (L) face from the ridge. I wouldn't want to be crossing that snow slope right now - but there were fairly recent tracks across it right at the slide...]

 
[Looking along Boundary Ridge towards the peak which is likely a bit lower than us at distant left of center (not the first few bumps here). Cat Creek Hill at center right with Moose Mountain at distant right. ++]


[Cat Creek Hills.]


[Moose Mountain rises over the Powderface Road and Jumpingpound Mountain.]


[Scramblers to the south on an unnamed ridge, probably on route to Bryant Peak.]


[The always popular Prairie Mountain.]


[Looking back at another interesting section of Boundary Ridge towards Tiara Peak.]

 
[Looking ahead to Boundary Peak from another high point along the ridge. Belmore Brown at right here and lower than the ridge.]


[Hiking along Boundary Ridge from Tiara towards Midday was certainly the highlight of the day both in terms of views and gorgeous weather. This is looking back at Tiara from the first high point along the ridge. We joined this ridge from Porcupine Ridge which is out of sight at right here.]


[Looking over Crown Peak towards Wasootch Peak with Bogart, Sparrowhawk and Mount Lougheed in the distance.]


[Wietse looks tiny on the ridge as we continue towards another bump on the way to Boundary Peak.]


[Looking back at another great section of the ridge walk.]


[If you don't think Boundary is a separate peak, go bag it yourself. This is looking back at just one of the bumps along the ridge. :)]


[And now looking up a bump on the other side of the last one!]


[Looking back at a bump on the ridge and Tiara Peak rising above.]


[Boundary Peak finally comes into view. But it's not the close one - it's the far one at left!]


[Wietse reaches the second high point on the traverse towards Boundary Peak.]

 
[The halfway point of our Porcupine Loop Traverse is somewhere around the second high point on Boundary Ridge. Tiara Peak at left is where we came from - starting at center distance and working our way up Porcupine Ridge to this point. From here we traverse right to Boundary Peak and from there to Midday and Midnight Peaks which are hidden beyond, before exiting the north fork of Porcupine Creek at lower center here. ++]


[Looking over Belmore Brown Peak. Cat Creek Hills in the background at left with Moose Mountain at right distance over Jumpingpound Mountain.]


[Yet another height loss before we finally ascend to Boundary Peak.]


[From Boundary's east ridge looking back at the two main bumps we've come over towards Tiara Peak at distant right.]

 
[Phew! That took a while! Looking way back over Crown Peak at center with our traverse from the end of Porcupine Ridge at distance right all the way to the left and up to Boundary Peak. Hopefully we're over half way now? ++]


[Looking north over the rest of our route towards Midday. Baldy looks tiny from here!]


[Looking over the ridge we'll continue along to the mighty Lusk Ridge.]


[Black Rock Mountain.]


[Orient Point with Devil's Head at distant left.]


[Yamnuska in the foreground with Devil's Head, Castle Rock and Costigan (L) beyond.]


[Cougar Peak with Townsend and Fable at right.]


[Lougheed rises over Collembolla.]


[The Fortress, Gusty and Galatea (L to R).]

 
[We start down the long, easy ridge towards Midday and Midnight Peaks.]

 

As we enjoyed the views, especially towards Baldy and the Midday / Midnight pair of summits, we heard voices approaching on the ridge below. When we started down the long, snowy connecting ridge towards Midday Peak we saw other people for the first time.

Summit Elevation (m): 
2,400
Summit Elevation (ft): 
7,875
Elevation Gain (m): 
1700
Round Trip Time: 
10.50
Total Distance (km): 
21.00
Quick 'n Easy Rating: 
Class 2 : you fall, you sprain your wrist
Difficulty Notes: 

No major difficulties from Crown Peak to Boundary Peak. Some easy scrambling around steeper areas on the ridge with some exposure.