Redstreak mountain is a formidable scramble objective that, until now, has suffered from access issues and sparse beta which is a real tragedy because it's an above-average quality scramble that tests climbing and navigation skills as well as perseverance.

You must be mentally engaged at all times up higher on the route as there is potential to easily get into terrain that is beyond scrambling, both on the ascent and descent.

Redstreak Mountain has been on my radar for years, but the understandable conflict created from accessing it via private land or the Redstreak campground, as well as reports of confusing route finding, difficult terrain, and unpleasant bushwhacking, has always made me choose other objectives.

In recent years, a few people have circumvented the private land and initial tedious terrain by rerouting to a firebreak on the northwest side of the mountain, most recently including Brandon Boulier who used it as a descent route. This is brilliant - but still causes friction for parking and access if you aren't staying at the campground.

But because I've stayed at the campground every year as a kid and have explored the surrounding trails extensively, I believed I knew a solution - the last piece to the puzzle. I eagerly tested it out in the summer of 2021.

The map below shows the route. Use the map controls on the right side of the image or click and drag with your mouse to move the map, use CTRL and your mouse wheel to zoom, use the keyboard only with SHIFT and arrow keys to rotate or CTRL and arrow keys to pan. On a touch screen use two fingers.

Redstreak Mountain Scramble Route - Parry Loeffler.gpx
* This track is not high resolution, so don't rely on it for route finding at a micro level *

The route I took begins right from Highway 93 at the Juniper trail parking lot just inside (east of) the Kootenay National Park west gate. From there, I walked away from the park gates towards where the highway tunnels through the mountain. Just before the canyon, I looked across the road to the right where I remembered a path from when I was a kid that looks a bit rough but soon becomes distinct and well defined. I followed this as it gently wound up to the plateau where the campground sits. I did NOT try to shortcut the trail - that causes erosion, it's not long, and is a good warmup.

Parking area on Highway 93.

The trail begins at the canyon entrance.

Once on the plateau, I went left in the direction of the hot springs and shortly saw a maintenance building off to my right. Here I could see an open meadow beyond. I left the trail and followed the left edge of this meadow until it deposited me at the bottom of the glorious firebreak that makes its way pleasantly upwards several hundred meters, easily gaining the ridge. Then I followed the ridge as the firebreak continued higher to a bump where it finally ended and the real work began.

The maintenance building and meadow.

The glorious firebreak that is one key to easy travel on the lower part of the route.

This got me to where I joined the route as described in the book Hikes Around Invermere & the Columbia River Valley by Aaron Cameron and Matt Gunn. The purpose of this page is to reveal how I resolved the access issues to the route and got to this point. The remainder of this page is merely my trip report is not meant to be a guide for the route beyond and the technical portions of the climb.

* Refer to the guidebook Hikes Around Invermere & the Columbia River Valley by Aaron Cameron and Matt Gunn for full route information beyond this point *

I continued along the ridge, now on an indistinct trail, navigating some deadfall, as it lost and then regained elevation. As I neared the "redstreak" wall that blocks the way, I kept watching for where the trail branches slightly left and then steeply down, circumventing the wall. The righthand branch also had a flagged route that went down to the right alongside the wall and then climbed a gully to breach it, but this is NOT a scramble and requires some 5th class moves on poor rock.

I can see the much more difficult terrain ahead.

But first, some elevation loss and some deadfall to navigate.

The "redstreak" wall eventually blocks the way.

So, going left and down to pass the "redstreak" wall, then climbing up through the forest to regain the ridge, I followed the path as it lead upwards through the forest, breaching more vertical walls on both sides.

Cliff bands rise on both sides as I make use of a forested breach through.

I then arrived at the crux. A smooth slab, several meters high. In 2021 when I was there, several ropes were rigged from above - they may or may not be there now. The slab is a difficult scramble up and I would not want to downclimb it without the aid of the rope as the top is a steeply downsloping slab covered with marbles. One needs to have a scrambling rope along and know how to use it to help with the descent of this - the ones that were in place were already degrading and won't be reliable for much longer. I also used my helmet both up and down to protect from rockfall from above.

The crux. I briefly considered climbing the log. Ha! Bad idea, I think.

They're tough to see, but ropes were hanging down so I didn't need to use mine.

Atop the crux, I continued to follow the path as it climbed steeply, leading to the... false summit. Argh. Another descent leading to a mean-looking wall. Studying the wall, I saw a gully to the right that looked to circumvent it. Moving down and across to it, it proved to be a short scramble which quickly led to the true summit of Redstreak Mountain!

I know many people don't sign summit registers, but the fact that there were only a dozen entries since 2015 gives credence to the suggestion that until now this mountain has been rarely ascended.

From the false summit, a final wall is circumvented via a gully on the right.

Unfortunately, very smoky.

It would be a great view on a clear day!

Redstreak mountain has not been a popular scramble objective in the past, despite being an above-average quality scramble that tests a climber's skillset and resolve. With the access issues finally solved by starting directly from Highway 93 using an established path and then the firebreak, I suspect that it will now begin to see the traffic it deserves.

Check out my full VAN LIFE ADVENTURE channel on Youtube!

Sweller Van Dweller

Notice of Liability and Disclaimer

I do not represent or warrant the accuracy of any of the information here as conditions in the mountains are in a constant state of flux. Climbers use this information entirely at their own risk. It is merely a trip report and not meant as a substitute for a guidebook describing the route in full. Parry Loeffler and disclaim liability for any injuries or other damage that may be sustained by anyone using the trip report found here. Refer to a guidebook for complete route information.