Epaulette Mountain in Banff National Park is visible from the Icefields Parkway, but it’s not as often talked about as other nearby peaks, like Chephren and Howse. A photo was just shared to the Rockies Ice and Mixed Conditions Facebook page by Aidan Brushett of a big rockfall down its east aspect.
It’s unknown when the rockfall took place or if anyone was in the area. The first ascent of Epaulette Mountain was in 1924 by Frederick Vanderbilt Field, William Osgood Field, and guide Edward Feuz Jr. The peak was officially named Epaulette in 1961.
While there’s little published information about technical routes on Epaulette, in 2014 we asked the late, legendary climber Jeff Lowe about a rumoured climb up Epaulette in 1973, and he told us, “Mike Weis was my partner on Epaullette, which we climbed in 1973 and never reported or wrote up. It was actually a good climb. A 3,500 foot face with decent rock and ice and interesting route finding.
“We left the Parkway at dawn one summer morning, started down and a beautiful black wolf met us at the river crossing. We found our way through the woods to the base of the wall and spent the rest of the day having great fun on the climb and bivouacked on the summit. A classic Canadian Rockies adventure. You can be the first to report it, in Gripped!” See photos of Epaulette before and after the rockfall below.