Mt Cornwall
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Mt Cornwall - Bragg Creek Elbow Falls Area

South Glasgow Creek drainage goes up the  narrow valley between the two ridges

A view of the col and summit of Mt Cornwall, Mt Glasgow's south ridge is to the right of the col

Slabby waterfall area 5 min past where we headed right up and out of the creek drainage to climb the slopes of Glasgow

Slopes directly below the col which we took on the way back to the creek

Route up Mt Cornwall from the col

A wider view of the area taken from Mt Cornwall, we came up the long creek drainage in the lower right

The ridge walk over to the summit of Mt Cornwall

A view from the summit of Mt Cornwall

 

Mt Cornwall

Scramble: Class 1

Altitude: 2,978 m (9,770 ft)

Ascent Time: 1 hour from col after climbing Mt Glasgow – see Glasgow write-up

Elevation Gain: from col 370 m (1,214 ft)

Best Season to Scramble: July to September – would recommend early August to avoid mosquito’s and creek would still be running to pump water from

Highlights

Along with Glasgow there are 3 other peaks all in the same area Cornwall, Banded Peak and Outlaw but the approaches are really long and make for a very draining day to summit any of these. Most people bike a portion of the Big Elbow or Little Elbow trails to reach these, not appealing to me either since I can't bike due to injury. Therefore I looked at Plan B, hike up South Glasgow Creek and bivy the night before, then bag both Glasgow and Cornwall from our high bivy the next day then hike out. So we hiked up the creek the night before for 3+ hours and bivied next to the creek, climbed both peaks and hiked out the next day. The plan actually worked very well and two summits were obtained. I recommend climbing Glasgow first then come back to the col between Glasgow and Cornwall and its only 1 hour up to bag Cornwall on a scree trail.

Getting There

Head out to Bragg Creek and onto highway 66 to Elbow Falls. Drive right into the Little Elbow campground and find a small parking lot only 30 feet away from the suspension bridge which you need to cross to get on the Big Elbow trail.

Route Description

Cross the suspension bridge and head left for a bit, then right and up to an intersection which has a green trail direction sign. Follow on south and you should hit another sign saying you are entering the Big Elbow trail "Are you prepared" lol! This section of the Big Elbow trail is about a 3 km walk with 2 small hills and takes about 40 minutes. From here you will see about 30 yards to your right a wide creek bed. This is South Glasgow Creek. Take a sharp right onto this creek bed and head back kind of Northwest for a bit. The creek bed eventually curves around back heading Southwest, then enters a narrow valley or drainage heading west up to the Cornwall headwall.

There are 2 places in the drainage that you need to move left, then right above the creek bed to bypass small canyon areas. The first one you head up the left bank to bypass the first canyon spot then as you come down to the creek above the first small canyon area you immediately cross the creek and you head up into the forest on the right side (cairn here) to bypass a longer canyon stretch. This longer stretch through the trees is more difficult as the trail is faint but the thing is to keep next to edge of the trees closest to the high creek bank and when you get above the second canyon area find a spot to descend back to the creek bed. It would be nice if some trail work was done on the longer second canyon area in order to improve route finding.

Once above the two canyon areas its straightforward working your way as far up the creek as you would like to go before setting up camp. Our bivy took around 3 ½ hours to get to. It was only about 5 minutes away from the spot we picked to go up the long gray slopes to climb Glasgow and about 10 minutes away from the slabby waterfall area which gives more direct access to the col between Cornwall and Glasgow. I recommend our route as we did Glasgow first, came back to the col, then 1 hour up to climb Cornwall, then descended the sandy brown slope below the col to the slabby waterfall area then back down the creek. The peak climbing day including summit time was around 11 hours back to the car. Started at 6:30 am back to the car 6pm. Voila two summits!