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Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association

Trip Report
Trip Date:
Trip name:
Ship's Prow
"Alda the Amazing" led five Rambler coordinators on one of her excellent adventures to Ship's Prow (and the subpeak of Mt Lawrence Grassi above it).

Ship's Prow is a frequently seen but rarely hiked eastern outlier of a secondary peak of Mt Lawrence Grassi.

Ships Prow (center) from Three Sisters exit on Trans Canada (Mt Lawrence Grassi at right)

The name is not on the topo maps or in bivouac.com but is on the Gemtrek map and in peakfinder.com. Two descriptions that we found accessed it from the north via the Goat Creek parking lot but Alda had a better way. We drove a little further up the Smith-Dorrien road to the point where it crosses the canal that transports water to the power station. We parked there and then on foot followed the road along the east side of the canal for about 1/2 km before heading up from a clearing. The climb up is steep and treed but it almost wouldn't count as bushwhacking. After a little over an hour we broke through the tree line and took a well-deserved break. From there we followed an open ridge up to the main ridge of Mt Lawrence Grassi.

Damian heading up to the ridge

After two hours we gained the south ridge of Lawrence Grassi about 2 km from the summit (about 1 km south of Ship's Prow Peak).

Summit ridge from where we gained the ridge (Ship's Prow Peak at left)

The views here, particularly of the Three Sisters were amazing.

Great view of the Three Sisters

The walk along the ridge was straight forward. A massive cornice still remained on the east side and there was a large very well built cairn on a sub peak to the south of our target which we call Ship's Prow Peak.

Traversing the ridge towards Ships Prow Peak

Arnold and Damian on the ridge

Right before the peak there is some scrambling. With care it is possible to find a scramble 5 route, but I wouldn't recommend this as a "beginner" scramble.

Scrambly bit approaching Ship's Prow Peak

We were at the high point of the hike, Ship's Prow Peak a little over three hours from the car.

Summit photo looking South

We took a long break and lots of photos identifying many peaks over a wide range and all agreeing that this is a better, more interesting hike than Mt Lawrence Grassi.
Then it was time to move on to the actual destination of the trip, the Ship's Prow. While this is about 100 m lower than the peak, the Prow is what you see from the highway. There is a tricky down climb about 50-100 m south of the summit.

Down climbing to the Prow

This was fairly full of snow and at first we thought that we'd need ice axes to descend. But there were lots of great hand and foot holds beside the snow. As it was, it was a scramble 6. In dry conditions it is possible that the chimney would be only scramble 5. A little bit of up and down walking, sometimes on goat trails, brought us to the Ship's Prow.

Carl on the end of the Prow

On the way back to the ridge some of us shortcut to the low point south of the peak while others climbed back through the chimney.

Arnold and Alda climbing back up to the ridge from the Prow

And from the low point between Ship's Prow Peak and the cairned summit south of it we descended on some snow and mostly rubble down the large gully to the north of our ascent route.

Descent down gully

We were back at the cars in a little under 7 hours.

Google Earth image of Ship's Prow and our route

Special thanks to Alda for suggesting the trip and showing us the best route. And many thanks to Arnold, Clifton, Damian and Kevin (photos) for joining us, Carl (C/S).