Wasootch Ridge: A Snowy Springtime Adventure
Wasootch Ridge in Kananaskis Country is one of few ridges with impressive scenery passable in early spring. Our hike was full of adventure as we sought the final peak, traversing 12 kms (7 miles) and gaining 1010 meters (3315 feet) of elevation through scree slopes and knee-high snowbanks. Towering mountains surrounding the ridge watched our futile search with amusement.
Looking down the valley at Wasootch Creek which looks like a thin ribbon from this distance. The mountain range to the right ends at Mount McDougall with the rest of the peaks unnamed.
Hayley up to her knees in snow. Since most of the ridge was bare we didn’t use our crampons which made for a slick assent on sections like this. Thankfully we brought our hiking poles.
The final peak of Wasootch Ridge requires a short detour below the ridge for a safe climb. We didn’t find the correct detour on the unmarked trail and ended up in this sketchy bit of terrain instead.
The interesting, snow-capped mountain in the center is Mount Lorette. Looking back you can see how the ridge gains and loses elevation as it twists and turns. It’s a fairly broad, unexposed ridge until just before the final peak. At that point it turns into a dangerous knife edge with sheer drop-offs on both sides, only accessible to mountain climbers and very experienced, gutsy scramblers.
A fun jumping picture of Hayley. Because this ridge has relatively low elevation, it is surrounded by mountains. You won’t get expansive views but it’s still gorgeous scenery for a spring hike.
More snow on sections of the trail. While a bit slow to hike through, coming this time of year made the surrounding mountains far more beautiful with their ridges and peaks highlighted by snow.
Hayley sitting at the furthest point we reached, just before the final peak. Since we didn’t discover the right approach we turned back here but the scenery is still awesome no matter how far you manage to get. Now that we know the right way to take we’ll be sure to reach the top next time!
For additional information about this hike, contact the Peter Lougheed Park Discovery & Information Centre.
Photo Credit: Hayley Mead and Jolene Rempel
This post is part of the Kananaskis Country (North) series.
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