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Nameless Ridge
Kananaskis, Alberta
July 11, 2020

Nameless Ridge is overshadowed by popular Mist Mountain, but it's worth considering for a short hike. Both mountains use the same approach, a trail to the col between them, Nameless col. From the col, it's a 183-m climb to the summit of Nameless Ridge.

From the summit, Kananaskis Country Trail Guide suggests hiking down the southwest ridge to the highway. That leaves you less than two klicks from the trailhead. I decided on another, shorter loop. Before reaching the col, I wanted to exit the trail below the treeline and ascend a grassy slope to the ridge crest. That would provide a one-kilometre ridgewalk to the summit before descending to the col and returning on the trail.

To reach the grassy slope, I was hoping to keep bushwhacking brief and avoid losing elevation to an intervening drainage. But as Dinah and I hiked up the trail, it looked like a tall order: the wall of vegetation on our right appeared too dense attempt, and the drainage seemed far below the trail. But after hiking 1.4 km up the trail, we got a break.

Leave it to wild animals to beat the shortest path to water. The path – a mere 60 m long – leads to a nameless stream. Deadfall over the stream blocks the way, but we went around it, crossed the stream, and climbed the bank on the other side. After hiking through a few trees, we came to the edge of a vast meadow.

We gravitated to an outcrop above us that stuck out of the mountainside, a pulpit-like rock that invited posing on. From there, we had a sweeping view of the valley below. But we didn't pause; we continued up the meadow.

We stuck close to the drainage on our right until it faded into the mountainside. Then we angled right, to the end of a rocky ridge. It can be circumvented, but we scrambled up it. From there it was a short distance to the ridge.

The rest of our journey unfolded as I had planned. We followed Nameless Ridge to the summit, and then, aided by soft scree, we descended to the col. We did, however, hike up the other side of the col. Not only did we have a fine view of Nameless Ridge, but we noticed several people lounging around Mist Mountain Hot Springs. Then we followed the trail back to the trailhead.

Even with another approach, this ridge is unlikely to make a name for itself as a climbing objective. After all, it is called Nameless! But maybe this route, with a hike up a meadow and a short ridgewalk, will add incentive for anyone considering going up Nameless Ridge.

KML and GPX Tracks


A stick in a highway pole marks the trailhead


It didn't appear possible to reach the meadow without losing elevation and without extensive bushwhacking


Then we found a short animal trail


Looking back after crossing the stream. The path ends at the deadfall, but we went upstream to get around it.


After going through a few trees, we reached the bottom of a lush meadow


Nameless Col came into view


An outcrop makes a nice pulpit


Dinah passes the outcrop I stood on


Wildflowers, such as these yellow columbines, thrived in the meadow


We headed to the ridge in the background


After reaching the top of the drainage, we hiked to the end of the rocky ridge above


Far below, we could see hikers going up the trail


We could have hiked around the rocky ridge, but instead we easily climbed up it


Forgetmenots grew in profusion here


After the rocky ridge, the ridge crest is a short distance away


We'll soon reach the crest


Looking south after reaching the ridge


We made our way to the summit, the point in front of Dinah. Mist Mountain on the left.


It was an enjoyable walk to the summit


The green ridge on the right is Mist Ridge


The green bumps in the middle are South Mist Hills


Just before the summit, we passed a rocky spine


Almost at the top of Nameless Ridge


Standing on the summit


Heading down to the col


We took advantage of the scree


Well down the slope


Looking back


From the col, I zoomed in to look at the hot springs


I was surprised to see so many people there


A close look at the upper pool


After climbing up the other side of the col, we had a nice view of Nameless Ridge


Starting down the trail. Ahead is Odlum Ridge.


Looking back at the pass


Looking at the ridge we ascended. Pulpit rock is above Dinah, in front of some trees.


82 J/10 Mount Rae

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