canada general hiking moosling trip reports

Hiking Mount Bourgeau: Five stars

For some reason I’d always though that getting to the summit of Mount Bourgeau involved scrambling. It doesn’t. Occasionally you’re walking on scree (fairly tame and well behaved scree) or near cliffs, but it’s no more a scramble than the walk to the top of Ha Ling Peak – hands are totally not necessary. Also, it is an awesome hike, possibly the best one we did this summer, and everyone should go out and do it immediately.

waterfall fall

Thanks to a lovely sleep in, we started out pretty late – I think it was around 10.30am. Which was a bit late for a hike which some people quote 12 hours for. We fairly galloped along though, and even with a lunch break at Harvey Lake, we reached the summit within four hours. The climbing is pretty constant throughout – the elevation profile should make a nice isosceles triangle I think.

harvey lake

I didn’t actually get any good photos of Bourgeau Lake, as it was largely sitting in shade for most of the day. The lake pictured above is Harvey Lake (I think), one of three lakes between Bourgeau Lake and Harvey Pass. That’s Mount Bourgeau sitting to the right of the lake, looming in a cliffy fashion.

past the lakes to the pass

Harvey Pass is where a lot of people stop hiking. From there you can see out to Sunshine Village and Mount Assiniboine, and it would count as a fairly amazing view in itself if I hadn’t seen the summit view as well. It helped that it was a gorgeous sunny day (even if a bit on the windy side).

banff below

Looking down to Banff from the summit


the pointy mountains

The Sundance Range? from the summit


the boys admire the hardware

While I was busy taking photos of the view, the boys admired the hut and accompanying hardware


back down

Back down to Bourgeau Lake, just out of sight below the cliffs – autumn is here


Summit: 2930m (9613ft)
Elevation Gain: 1435 m (2,460 ft)
Return distance: 25km
Split times: Bourgeau Lake: 1hr50m, Harvey Pass: 3hr, Summit: 4hr, Descend from summit: 5hr, Back at Harvey Pass: 5hr38min, Back at Bourgeau Lake: ~6hr10 Back at the Car: 7hr45m

canada climbing

chronologically speaking

A visual diary of my afternoon/evening:


I am at work. I look at Mount Bourgeau.



I am at Mount Bourgeau. I look at work.



I go from Mount Bourgeau back down to work.


In between, I look around at the mountains and the yellow aspen, and listen to the wind blowing through the trees, and I climb and do not fall despite the strange slanting of the rock which gives the disconcerting sensation that the mountain is casually shrugging you off.