Photo by Kevin Altheim
|Year first climbed:||1947|
|First successful climber(s):||Hind, Parker and Tarrant|
|Nearest major airport:||Calgary International|
Thanks to Bruce Dunbar for adding this peak.
The Fable-Gap high level traverse is considered a local Canmore climb, although not a common one. Due to it's "local" remoteness and incredible 360 degree views, I rate this as one of the finer day climbs in the Bow Valley.
There are three established routes on Fable herself, the traverse scramble, the South Ridge Alpine II 5.4 and the Southeast Ridge Alpine II 5.5. These routes can be combined.
Fable is a prominent, monolithic rock peak best viewed from the popular sport climbing area off of Trans-Canada known as Heart Creek near Lac des Arc. It is located in the Fairholme Range. In 1947 a group claimed they were unsuccessful in climbing the mountain due to heavy bush. A subsequent attempt by Hind, Parker and Tarrant was successful and they decided the story of heavy bush was a "fable," thus its name.
Take the Bow Valley Provincial Park exit off of Trans-Canada and proceed north bypassing the town of Seebe and coming to a stop at Highway 1A. Head west to Exshaw. In Exshaw, take a right on Windridge Road on the east side of Exshaw Creek. Drive .8 km to Mount Lorette Drive and the dead-end of Windridge Road. Parking is available by the footbridge. This is the start. However, I recommend taking a bike and placing it at Grotto Pond, further down Highway 1A to assist in your return.
Cross the bridge and follow Exshaw Creek for about one hour. The trail will turn west (left) into a major subsidiary valley that passes underneath the south side of the mountain. Follow this up to the base of the south ridge.
For the southeast ridge climb, only proceed left for .5 km and then cut up right through timber to gain a well defined ridge that leads up above tree line to the east ridge of the buttress at the base of the main ridge.
The Fable-Gap Traverse is located in Kananaskis Country, part of the Alberta Provincial Park system. There are no parking or climbing permits required. There are no official camp sites on the routes. The closest camping is back east to Bow Valley Provincial Park off of Trans-Canada. Canmore is the closest town for lodging. Proper bear etiquette is required. The Fairholme wolf pack, as small as it is, still roams this area as well. I have provided a link for Kananaskis Provincial Park which provides weather, trail, camping and wildlife information.
When To Climb
Mount Fable's climbing season is longer than most in the Canadian Rockies, starting as early as late May.