South End of Lawson
Kananaskis Country Trail Guide
September 18, 2010

We were expecting poor weather when we planned to climb the South End of Lawson, but when Saturday rolled around the forecast had improved. After a succession of rainy days, this was a day of respite and we were blessed with morning blue skies.

Following directions in Gillean Daffern's Kananaskis Country Trail Guide – our first trip in her fourth and latest editionwe parked at the gate and walked up the TransAlta road. At the end of the road, after crossing a dry bed hidden in trees, we found the trail. The trail wasn't always well defined and we often lost it, but we always managed to quickly regain it.

At first there was little to see, but in clearings higher up, we were treated to expansive views south towards the Kananaskis Lakes. The rocky false summit provided the best views, but we were more interested in the ridge traverse here since it requires a short scramble. We were curious as to how that would go, especially because we had encountered snow patches. But the crossing was snow-free and easy. From the false summit we reached the true summit in five minutes. Here, competing with the mountain scenery, we saw larches taking on fall colours. We spent half an hour on top before turning around.

While checking our GPS receivers on the way back, we noticed that the road was longer than what was indicated in the book. Later we learned the trailhead is actually a few hundred metres south of what's shown on the map, making the road 1.2 km long instead of .7 km. (Daffern is aware of the error.)

For a short hike this was a surprisingly enjoyable outing. As Daffern suggests, the South End of Lawson is destined to become popular.

KML and GPX Tracks


View of the South End of Lawson from the road


The flume


Looking for a place to exit the road


On the trail


Two of a brood of four chipmunks we saw scampering on the rocks


Mounts Packenham and Hood


Coming to a grassy slope


Dramatic views south


Larches


The ridge appears to end but there's a col left.


Crossing the col


Looking back


Looking back from below the false summit


Traversing below the crest


Dinah starts across.


Heading to the true summit


On the summit


Coming down the summit


Heading back to the false summit


360° view from the top


82 J/11 Kananaskis Lakes

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