Epic Tower (Townsend Traverse)

Trip Category: 
SC - Scrambling
Interesting Facts: 

In 1993, John Martin completed a traverse of two towers along the ridge running between Mount Townsend and Fable in the Fairholme Range and named them, "Epic Tower" and "Mythic Tower". In a quest to uncover more information on these peaks, Bob Spirko did a recon mission up Fable Creek in early July of 2008, reaching another minor summit along the ridge which he dubbed, "Little Mythic".

Technical Difficulty Level: 
Endurance Level: 
YDS Class: 
3rd Class
Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Trip Date: 
Thursday, August 30, 2018

After approaching and scrambling Mount Townsend, I descended its slabby summit block and down the only obvious break through its intimidating cliffs before heading along a sheep track towards Epic Tower. Initially I worried that I might have to gain and lose some elevation on this traverse, but it went much quicker and easier than I expected. Within only about 45 minutes of leaving the summit of Townsend, I was scoping out a route up Epic Tower's SW scree and slabs to the summit.


[Looking off the ledge traverse that breaks Townsend's summit block through the cliffs. Epic Tower rising impressively at left.]

[A moonscape to walk across from just below Townsend's summit block towards Epic Tower at upper left. For once, it's not as far as it appears!]

[The crumbling Epic Tower appears to have a fairly straightforward route.]

[As I approach the summit block of Epic Tower I can scope out a route from mid right to upper left.]


The route I picked was moderate scrambling at most and within an hour of Townsend's summit I was on the summit of Epic with more great views along the very impressive east face of the ridge running to Mystic Tower and Mount Fable, and of course back towards Townsend.


[A crumbling, but fairly easy route up Epic Tower's SW slope.]

[Great views down Exshaw Creek at lower left with Mythic Tower featuring prominently in the foreground. ++]

[Looking over Exshaw Ridge towards Old Fort Peak, Morrowmount, Yamnuska and Goat Mountain.]

[Looking north at Mount Townsend where I traversed from with Stenton beyond at left. At right is the lovely upper Exshaw Creek Meadows and South Ghost Peak. At left is the long Cougar Creek approach. ++]

[Looking south at the remaining traverse to Mythic Tower with Fable, Grotto, Cougar and Lady Macdonald L to R.]

[South Ghost Peak at left, Cross Peak at right.]

[Orient Point.]

[Saddle Peak.]

[Peechee at distance with Stenton Peak at right.]

[Great views down Exshaw Creek. ++]

[Really good views north over Exshaw Meadows and pass and past the impressive east face of Mount Townsend (L) towards Saddle Peak and Orient Point which lie across the South Ghost River. South Ghost Peak at right. ++]

[Cougar Peak (L) rises above the long approach up Cougar Creek. Lady Macdonald at mid center.]

[Looking down Exshaw Creek past the impressive east face of Mythic Tower - my next destination.]

[Descending Epic Tower with the summit at upper left and Exshaw Creek far below to the east.]

[Looking back up at the summit (R) with Mount Townsend at center distance.]


In my humble opinion, this peak is a no-brainer for anyone heading up Townsend. If you're putting that much effort into the approach you should be rewarded with at least two peaks - no? wink After another short break it was time to check out the most difficult summit of my day - the ominous sounding, "Mythic Tower".

Summit Elevation (m): 
Summit Elevation (ft): 
Elevation Gain (m): 
Round Trip Time: 
Total Distance (km): 
Quick 'n Easy Rating: 
Class 3 : you fall, you break your leg
Difficulty Notes: 

A very long creek approach with minor bushwhacking, some routefinding and some sheep trails. The traverse is moderate to difficult depending on whether Mystic Tower is included.