On August 29th, 2019 Eric and I made our way up Fisher Peak. Fisher is the most prominent and tallest peak in the East Kootenays and one that everyone would like to hike.
What did we learn? It’s a climb, not a hike. The fist 2 KM are about the same as hiking straight up the steepest parts of the Ski Hill so doing that is good training. The next KM is a lovely, gentle climb along a creek and an alpine lake. After that is where it gets really interesting (Read that as scary…)
The next section is about 1 KM of steep scree. Tuck your poles in your pack ladies and gentlemen, you are going to need both feet and hands to navigate this. It is possible to have less scree if you stay way right, but there are some pretty steep rocky pitches that way as well.
You then get to have a little rest at a saddle just to the South of the peak. It is your first opportunity to see the Rockies spreading out to the East of you. Gather your wits and your energy because, while there is only about 800 meters or so left to go, it is pretty much straight up.
The final assent is indeed ‘bouldering’ as we had heard it described but, what those accounts left out was that you are bouldering with your butt basically hanging out over 8000 feet with nothing but rocks below. There are a number of possible routes to get up to the top and we took a wrong turn up there and ended up on an ugly dead end just to the east of the peak. Yes, I had read about this but when the time came we made the same mistake as many and had to back track to get to the top.
You know the end is near (Literally, not figuratively) when you see the iron ring that someone has kindly mounted to a large rock to help pull you to the top. It was disturbing with that iron in hand, I can hardly imagine what it would be like without it. One more mounted hand assist has you at the top. The top is really the top, there are a couple of queen sized mattress rocks that you can sit on up there and enjoy the view and your lunch. Don’t forget to add your names to the book of climbers once you get up there.
We were worried about the descent but, for me, it was actually less scary than going up. When in down you can sit on one of the boulders and touch something solid with your feet.
Is it worth it? For sure. Would I do it again? My initial reaction was ‘no’ but after a week I would change that to ‘yes’. I’d even be happy to help others to get up there now that I sort of understand the way.