Location: Lake Louise
Summit Elevation (m): 3152
Elevation Gain (m): 1500
Total Distance (km): 18.00
Total Time: 13.00
Difficulty: Hiking (Easy scrambling, long day, LOTS of scree)
Water Available: Paradise Valley, short section of the gully has a glacial stream
Cell reception: Reliable at Summit, unreliable on approach
Rating: 3/5 due to the amount of scree and very long (and foreshortened) approach. The only reason this doesn’t have a 1/5 rating is because the view from the summit is spectacular.
Drive to Paradise parking lot less than 5 minutes down the Moraine Lake Road.
Follow the trail for Giant Steps through the valley, and just before the third bridge branch off to the old trail. By the third bridge, I mean the third main bridge, as there are several actual crossings before you reach the first bridge over Paradise Creek. Look for the “No Horses” sign that starts the old trail.
My suggestion is to cross the river where the old bridges were, look up and down stream, as we were able to cross on our way back, and it is much easier to hike on the left side of the river on the trail, than it is bushwhacking on the right side. However, there is a faint trail on the right side. From the avalanche gully it is easy route finding, go up. On the upper slopes stick to climbers left as the rocks are large and stable instead of the scree on the right, either way it isn’t enjoyable.
Start of the avalanche/ascent gully. Work your way along the river until you are in the middle, then ascend, look to go up the rock instead of bushwhacking. Looking down on the start of the gully. Look for the clearing when ascending, otherwise you’ll be bushwhacking a lot! Looking at the upper gully, aim for the center/climber’s left as there is less loose scree. To descend you can glissade down the snow! Summit is about 20 minutes from the end of the red line at the top of the gully.
Aberdeen is a scramble you will enjoy if you don’t mind the long and tedious scree approach. If I were to do this again, it will definitely be from the glacier/climbing route. The views are unreal from the summit, but the ascent gully is incredibly foreshortened so when you add all the bushwhacking and long approach it makes for a mediocre day. I would suggest this peak only be done in early season when more snow covers the scree, but not too early as you are going up a popular avalanche chute!