Grotto Mountain

Elevation: 2706 m
Elevation Gain: 1425 m
Grotto Mountain was named by Eugene Bourgeau and James Hector in 1858 for a large cave that they found within it. Today, non-geological forces have also chiseled away at the peak as evidenced by the large quarry on its flank.
My Ascents:
May 20 2012, June 22 2011, April 17 2010

I really wanted to climb Grotto Mountain a little over a week earlier, however, there was this minor PhD defense thing that I had to take care of on June 15. I was actually all set to go up Grotto on June 14 to take my mind off of the stress but my mother convinced me that my time would be better spent studying. Well, it’s a week or so later and I’ve got nothing but time on my hands now after the successful defense (that makes me a “Dr. Peakbagger”). What better time to grind my way solo up Grotto Mountain on a hot clear sunny day?

A beautiful, but HOT day for a 1400 vertical meter ascent. False summit on the left, true summit on the right.

Classic views of the Three Sisters early on.

Mount Lougheed across the Bow Valley.

Early views of Mount Rundle.

Rustling in the bushes always makes your heart skip a beat when you’re solo scrambling. Fortunately, this one was not caused by a bear. Phew.

Also not a bear. Phew.

Finally above the treeline. Checking out the Knife Edge Ridge on Mount Lady MacDonald.

The opposite of foreshortening, forelengthening. The true summit looks discouragingly far.

At the false summit, looking 2 km down the summit ridge to the true summit on the right.

Sweaty and gross.

Canmore at my feet.

Looking north from the false summit.

Mount Rundle.

Mount Rundle over Banff and Temple Mountain over Lake Louise in the distance.

The Bow River is all over the place down there.

These flowers were all over the summit ridge.

Spying on Canmore through a rock window along the ridge.

Messing around on the rock window.

Fast-forward to the summit.

Cool rock formation on the Grotto summit ridge. Lady Mac in behind.

Summit #9 of the year...a promising start!

Bow Valley panorama. Click to see larger.

Spray Lake peeking out between the Windtower and the Rimwall.

Mount Lougheed.

Looking head on at the Three Sisters.

Canmore corridor panorama from left to right: Mount Lougheed, the Windtower, Rimwall Summit, the Three Sisters, Mount Lawrence-Grassi, and Ha-Ling. Mount Assiniboine prominent in the background. Click to see larger.

To the northwest!

Register entry from the Doc.

Tons of gorgeous peaks to the north. Can't see them from Canmore because Grotto gets in the way.

Looking out over the prairies. I think I see Yamnuska, site of yesterday’s outing over there...

...there it is! The orange scree descent slope on the backside of Yamnuska makes it easy to spot.

Gorgeous cement plant.

There's a small eyesore near the summit.

Enjoying a perfect day.

Thanks to Brianne for the graduation gifts! An altimeter watch and a dinosaur-shaped sandwich container!

Peaks to the north, highlighted by Mount Fable.

Mount Fable's summit ridge looks like it has the potential to be intimidating!

Speaking of intimidating: another high point on Grotto Mountain. Kane describes it as presenting 'demanding scrambling'. Looks more like a climb to me!

Fable panorama to the north. Click to see larger.

Cornice pulling away from the mountain along the summit ridge.

Assiniboine, sexy as always.

Heading down. The trail goes straight (up and) down this slope for ~1000 vertical meters. Murder for knees; even with a pole!