Last weekend, Sheena, Rebecca and I headed out to Kananaskis Lakes for a Labour Day hike and
scramble. Sheena had plans to hike along an ‘easy walks for inquiring minds’ trip, detailed in Gillean Daffern’s book. Our trip plans were combined in a sense, where she and Rebecca would spend a few hours enjoying the sights on the Mt. Indefatigable trail toward the mountain’s outlier and lookoffs — while I hoped to scramble the traverse from North to South Peaks of Mt. Indefatigable. I accompanied them until 12:00pm, when I split off and continued along toward the north and the beginning of traverse toward the peaks.
Right off at the start of our hike — the area is immediately beautiful. As with other trips we’ve done in the area, again, you are immediately struck with the beauty of the emerald-coloured lakes that spread out before you, along with the bouquet of mountains providing views for any trail in the area. A person can never really be bored with the views in this area, as they are that great. In taking a few photos and spotting more and more people, we continued up the Indefatigable trail toward Sheena’s lookoff — and I eventually continued ahead toward the outlier to begin the scramble. As it was Labour Day, I
fully expected tons of people in the area — and there were — but thankfully, most were only hiking toward the outlier/pass area, where they promptly began their return trip. Out of 30 people or so that I passed along the way, only four eventually took the scramble route to the north summit. I enjoyed the quick trek to the outlier ridge — where I couldn’t help but notice the colourful landscape and the missing tarn (from other websites and books, the tarn had been there steadily over the past many years, but was completely dried up this year). Upon reaching the pass
and as I began the scramble, I marveled at the rock face I was to climb. The climb to the North summit could be quite loose, however I kept to the solid rock — and enjoyed the hands-on scrambling right from the beginning. In most cases, I preferred to take routes involving clambering over the rock — it seemed much more fun. Doing a zig/zag of sorts up the
crux, I reached the summit at 1:40pm and was treated with a spectacular view. I had heard
others beginning their ascent, so I stayed at the summit enough time for a panorama shot — and signed the two registers that were there (one was a geocache, arg). As other scramblers approached from the South Peak, I continued along the traverse.
The traverse to the south peak was continually rewarding with
views and hands on travel as I went along. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of finding micro routes along the various undulating steps toward the South Peak. All along the traverse, I kept to the ridge top for sustained scrambling and occasional ridge-walking — it was airy at times, but fun. I continued the traverse for 45 minutes, taking my time at the harder sections and stopping for
photos and reach the south summit at 2:45p. The south summit was a treat as there were even more views of the Kananaskis lakes and the Aster Lake area mountains. (Mt. Sarrail really looks sharp and steep from there.) I also took a few photos of a neat radio and transmission tower. If anyone knows more about this tower or its devices, please let me know. I also noticed that one antenna was blown over and damaged.
The descent from the south summit was straight forward, following the cairns and descending the few sections of looser rock toward the well trodden and hard packed dirt paths leading to the main trail. During my descent, I spotted a couple of hikers who had gone off route further south along the south summit ridge and decided to scramble down one of the steeper sections. I watched them until they were out of sight, as
they precariously and awkwardly made their way down the loose slope wearing what appeared to be sneakers. Hoping they weren’t in trouble, I waited and eventually saw them appear around a bend trying to side slope toward the proper trail/route down the south summit. I called out to them, offered some suggestions — and ensured they were ‘ok’ until I continued further. Thankfully, it was not a more difficult section — or I probably would have gone over to them to guide them down. Later, I would eventually take a different route and shortcut, descending into the second drainage gully, choosing to follow the meadow and stream to the bottom trails. It was a faster route — and got me back to meet Sheena at the upper parking lot by 4:15pm.
We exchanged stories and Sheena related a few funny stories about Rebecca and other trail-goers, including an enterprising Asian tourist/fisherman who had caught a large lake trout and requested a photo
from her. It seems we both had our fun for the day — an excellent outing with great weather.