This March was a bit less than ideal. We got storm after storm. There was only one sunny weekend, and I experienced the strongest wind ever on Coffin Mtn. And due to the record breaking snow, probably every mountain in the Rockies requires snowshoes. FINALLY, we got a blue bird weekend over the entire western Canada!! Folding Mountain is a somehow not-so-well-known mountain near Hinton, outside Jasper National Park boundary. It receives much less attention than the nearby Roche a Perdrix. Approaching from Edmonton, the trail head is about 15min drive after leaving Hinton. Park at the Roadside Turnoff, and walk along South side of Yellowhead Highway towards East for about 10min. The trail head is marked by a huge yellow hiker sign (bigger than your head).
I would say, if you have to do the entire thing on snowshoes, then do NOT underestimate this mountain. It has a fair amount of net elevation gain (1200m?) with a long approach. We felt lucky to saw fresh snowshoe tracks at the beginning, only to find it completely disappeared after the first significant elevation gain. I think the folks who made the trail turned back here. They made one fourth of the way up. Most part of this mountain is forested, with lots of up-and-down sections. Breaking trail and bushwhacking on your own without GPS here is a bit dangerous because you are likely getting lost. We also saw cougar tracks (not 100% sure) near one boulder opening area. I felt nervous when seeing large animal tracks (I'm not soloing so it's okay). Good thing we did manage to regain the trail. The trail is very easy to follow despite the snow cover. Because the forest is very dense, the folks who made the trail had to cut down the tree branches a lot. So just follow the cutline. Near the treeline you will be on a ridge with exposure (hiker's standard) on your left. Follow the edge up to the treeline. The last 150m or so elevation gain is on scree and talus. I would say it's easy scrambling to the summit due to the steep and loose terrain.
From the summit, it looks like you can walk on the ridge all the way to Fiddle Peak without difficulties. However, we were running out of time here. Instead of traversing to Fiddle, we traversed further SE on the ridge for about 40min before turning back. Since I haven't done Roche a Perdrix, I will probably gonna ascend Fiddle via Roche a Perdrix side (requires difficult scrambling), and descent via Folding Mountain (long and tedious). This naturally makes a loop ridge traverse that requires a full day. Any die-heart scrambler volunteer?. I'm quite interested in that though.
The descent is nothing but tedious due to the several uphill sections. It would be extremely boring if you are alone.
Despite the long approach in forest, the summit view is excellent. Although Roche a Perdrix has better scrambling involved, Folding Mountain do stand on a relatively isolated position, and as a result, you can see more mountains that you wouldn't see from Perdrix. On the way driving to Jasper, we stopped at several viewpoints to take advantage of the sunset hours. We got several great shots of Roche Miette, the mountain that I ascent one month ago.