Thunder Mountain

Thunder Mountain near Pincher Creek, AB

This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars
9 kms
Spring, Fall, Summer
Pincher Creek, AB
User Trevbo
April 5th, 2008

A great peak for an early season scramble... Chinook winds at this junction are somewhat violent and have a way of blasting away any lingering snow off the ridge!


Thunder Mountain is located in an area known as 'The Gap' and is part of the Livingston Range. The Gap is aptly named, as there literally a 'gap' in the Livingston Ridge at this junction that allows the Oldman River to wind its way through on its voyage east.

There are are a couple of ridges that lead to the summit of Thunder Mountain. We ascended from the western ridge, which required losing a good amount of elevation off a false summit. Once on the ridge, it would be a pleasant ridge walk - however it was crazy windy on our summit day! Some of my hiking companions had previously climbed Thunder by the interconnecting east ridge, so we did a loop and descended by the other ridge and the drivers ended up getting a lift back to the cars (it would have been a 30 minute walk back to the cars along the road). The descent required some careful route finding as it is easy to get cliffed out on the southern ridge.


Going north up Hwy. 22, turn at Maycroft just before crossing the Oldman River and follow the road west (South side of the Oldman River).

Winding your way up the road along the river, pass through the gap... just BEFORE the next river crossing there is a rough parking area. We parked here and backtracked back up the road a couple of minutes in order to access a slope of reasonable steepness to start the climb towards Thunder.

Please check the bottom of the Description (above left; click) for the author's written directions.

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By ChrisMarryPosted By: ChrisMarry  - Sun Sep 01 17:49:02 UTC 2019 This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars Upside Not busy, possibility to make it even more enjoyable with all these outcrops and rock bands. Great views to the west. Downside N/A Comment Edwards Rating: II (II, III if climbing all outcrops/rock bands) S M

5 to 9 hours

Elevation of 990 m NET, 1065 m TOT & max 2362 m

Completed on August 31, 2019 in dry conditions.

Gear: Hiking poles

We didn’t expect to enjoy it so much. This is the first time we explore this area and there seem to be a few other peaks we can do. Views are great, trail is decent with cairns & flags and we made sure to climb 100% of the rock bands and outcrops sticking to the ridgeline on the way up for some moderate and fun hands-on scrambling. We didn’t care about following the most obvious trail except when we came back down. Following the trail is more of a hike to easy scramble I would say as it tends to avoid high points/outcrops. Problem some may have is that there are lots of animal trails so inexperienced scramblers looking for an official route might struggle at times.

We parked at exactly 18 km (GR897278) from highway 22, just passed the ridge of Thunder Mountain, along the road where there is an obvious climbing slab. We scrambled up along it and reached the first plateau. Looking ahead, we saw a rock band to the right and decided to scramble up there rather than circumventing it in the forest. The ridge gets wider with a long and enjoyable hike with opened views and interesting boulders all around. We saw one of the many mountain sheep there. It gets steeper before the first of 5 high points. At that point, we could see high point #3 which is the false summit. We stayed directly on the ridgeline and climbed every single outcrop for some fun hands-on scrambling, including below the false summit along the west facing cliff band. Once at the false summit, we could see the weather station still far away. The ridge gets narrower with some exposure to steep slopes on one side and cliff bands on the other. It may be avoided using a trail just below the ridge. We also climbed the last outcrop below the true summit (GR899240) which was interesting even though rocks were a bit loose. We went down the same way but used the trail most of time. We didn’t want to go down the W-NW ridge from the false summit (description above) as it would have brought us down further west from our car and we wanted to get back quickly.
By smburtPosted By: smburt  - Mon Apr 21 00:39:20 UTC 2008 Not Rated Question Hey Trevor,

Great to see you occupying your time, transitioning from the skis to the hikers. I'd love to do a hike like that some time.


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