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Victoria Ridge
Castle Wilderness, Alberta
July 1, 2007

After reading Andrew Nugara's website account of Victoria Ridge, we've been meaning to see this colorful ridge ourselves. We planned to hike the trail to the summit and then follow the ridge to the col next to Victoria Peak. From the col we could follow the trail back.

Starting from the gate, we walked to the end of the road and then continued down the trail. After passing Victoria Peak the trail leaves the valley and begins climbing. The trail climbed for a long time and we wondered if we were on the right path until we reached a fork. We took the left fork (on an exploratory trip later, we learned the right fork soon ends).

We continued up the trail which cuts high on the slopes of the ridge providing good views. However, we were mostly focused on the distant summit. Eventually we reached the col that separates Victoria Ridge from Victoria Peak and from there followed the trail along the ridge top.

We reached the summit with great anticipation only to find it was a false summit! The true summit was ten minutes away and 30 m higher. Four hours and 13 km after starting out, we reached the true summit.

We didn't stay at the top long because of high winds. While trying to photograph a panorama I lost my balance several times even though I braced against a rock. Once we finished taking pictures we headed back to the col.

At the col we left the trail and ascended the ridge. We were expecting colorful scenery and weren't disappointed. The colors jumped out at us, and as we followed the ridge the scenery and they kept changing.

We reached the high point at GR071616 and studied the ridge that swung around to Victoria Peak. Unfortunately Dinah's feet were causing her grief and we decided against continuing to the col. Hiking for Dinah had been uncomfortable since after doing St. Eloi Mountain the day before, but now the pain had become unbearable. We retreated back down the high point and dropped down to the main trail.

The trail to the summit is surprisingly good and I highly recommend it as a hike. But returning on the ridge exposes one to the most vivid colours of Victoria Ridge.

KML Track

Hiking up the trail with the high point (GR071616) ahead that we ascended on the return

The trail begins to climb steeply here

The trail loops to the drainage to the right before cutting across the scree below the high point (mouse over)

Following the trail in the scree below the high point

Looking back

Good views of our surroundings from the trail

The trail leads to the false summit

We stopped to look at Castle Peak

Trail goes through some woods before the false summit

Heading up the false summit

Looking back at Victoria Peak

Looking back along the ridge

Passing between a couple of boulders

Almost on the true summit

From the true summit we started back to the false summit
(click for a larger image)

The connecting ridge between the true and false summits is quite broad

Bulls eye on Pincher Ridge (mouse over to back up)

Starting up the ridge from the saddle between Victoria Ridge and Victoria Peak

Heading to the high point

Landscape appears alien here

Pincher Ridge

After reaching the high point ahead we descended from the the col on the right

View from the high point
shows Victoria Peak on the right

The view back along the ridge so colorful from the other end, is strangely dull

82 G/8 Beaver Mines/82 G1 Sage Creek

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