Phillipps Peak
After spending much of the summer in eastern Canada, I was very pleased to be back scrambling in the Canadian Rockies on 29 August 2008.  To try and ease myself back into shape, I chose a modest objective in Phillipps Peak which is an officially named outlier of Mount Tecumseh in the Crowsnest Pass area (the ascent route is briefly described in Alan Kane's Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies).  When I ascended Mount Tecumseh almost seven years ago, I was able to drive up to Phillipps Pass from the highway on the British Columbia side of the provincial boundary.  On this day, barricades prevented vehicular access to the still-drivable road.  Undaunted, I parked my car at the glorified rest stop known as Crowsnest Provincial Park and walked for about 40 minutes up the road until I reached a clearing just east of an obvious drainage.  I left the road here and ascended lightly forested slopes leading to the south ridge of Phillipps Peak.  About halfway up the mountain, I began feeling some discomfort in my feet.  This was my third trip with my Scarpa Barun GTX boots.  After developing blisters on my first trip with these boots, I applied duct tape to my heels before my second trip, and that seemed to fix the problem.  I tried the same trick again on this day, but both pieces of duct tape slipped off my heels while I ascended the forested slopes.  By the time I realized what had happened, I already had loonie-sized blisters on both heels.  After stopping to patch myself up as best as I could, I continued up the ridge albeit at a much slower pace.  To make things worse, a strong wind pummeled me relentlessly as I climbed higher.  This wind made it just a little trickier to cross the crux, a short gap just before the summit where the ridge is uncomfortably narrow and exposed.  I spent about 25 minutes at the summit before retracing my steps back down the mountain.  Despite my painful blisters, I managed to return to my car without incident after a round-trip time of less than 7 hours. 
Despite appearances, the bushwhacking is minimal on this slope. This is the clearing where Sonny started heading up from the road.  The false summit is the middle of the three bumps at centre.
Crowsnest Ridge might be a good mountain bike trip. This is the microwave tower on top of Crowsnest Ridge.  Behind the tower is Sentry Mountain.
Definitely nicer to look at than the open pit mines further west. Mount Erickson dominates the view to the northwest.
This would have been more enjoyable without blisters and without that bloody wind! The route up to the false summit is obvious.
There are some interesting peaks down that way... This is the view to the south from below the false summit.
Don't you just hate false summits?! Sonny heads for the true summit after arriving at the false summit.
The unnamed pinnacle is probably seldom climbed. This is an unnamed pinnacle and Mount Tecumseh as seen from the summit ridge of Phillipps Peak.
The big peak on the horizon at right is most likely Mount Ptolemy. The false summit looks impressive from this angle.
Looks pretty straightforward up to this point... The ridge becomes narrower as Sonny approaches the summit.
Certainly spices things up a bit! This is the crux as seen from the north side of the gap.  The gap is at bottom left.
It's great to be back in the Canadian Rockies! Sonny stands on the 2500-metre summit of Phillipps Peak (elevation gain of 1125 metres from the highway).
If you look closely at the horizon, you can spot Tornado Mountain. The High Rock Range stretches away to the north.  Deadman Pass is the obvious gap just right of centre.
The unnamed pinnacle is barely discernible from this angle. Mount Tecumseh dominates the view to the east.  Also visible in the distance is Crowsnest Mountain.
Can you spot the wind mills? To the southeast is Turtle Mountain.
Lots of loose rock on the other side. Here is a look at the crux from the south side of the gap (hidden at bottom right).
Or at the top of Turtle Mountain! There must be a pot of gold at Phillipps Pass.
Looks better than the lawn in my front yard these days! The grass looks resplendent in the late day sun.