It's been over ten years since I did the Yamnuska traverse, and Dinah had never done it. So with a short day in mind, we paid the popular mountain a visit.
The trail runs flat but soon rises and hits a T-intersection on a level spot. We went right to do the traverse counterclockwise. We followed the trail as it traverses below the east shoulder of Yam, climbing gradually, before reaching the ridgeline. After that, it turns west, heading to cliffs. After scrabbling through the notch in the cliffs, we continued up the trail until we reached the crux. Years ago, when I had done the traverse, there was no cable and few people ventured past this point. Now, we waited in line as hikers took their turn shuffling along a narrow ledge while holding onto a cable.
After the crux, it was still tricky going (and difficult to pass slower groups) until the trail moved off the rocks and back onto a scree slope. We made our way to the summit. As expected, we found no solitude and shared the top with several others.
After a half-hour stay, we started down the west side of the mountain, quickly descending a scree trail to the col. Here footing was less agreeable – loose stones on hard-packed ground. Past that, we hiked easily along the trail that hugs the base of a towering cliff. We looked for, and found, a soft stretch of scree and scooted down. Minutes later we were back at the parking lot which now overflowed with vehicles.
Mount Yamnuska from the highway
On the trail
The trail leads to the base of a huge cliff face
Early blue violet
Route goes through to a notch in the cliffs
Heading to the notch
The view after the notch
After the notch the trail cuts into the slope
Looking down as Dinah climbs up
Looking back along the ridge
The trail continues below the crest of the ridge
Dinah uses the cable to traverse the ledge at the crux
Further along the crux
Looking back just below the summit
Coming to the summit
A hiker straps on gaiters by the summit cairn
Heading down to the col from the top of Yamnuska
On the scree below the cliffs
Fast descent down scree
82 O/3 Canmore