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View above the pass

Three Sisters Pass and
South End of Lawrence Grassi

Kananaskis, Alberta
July 14, 2012

Summertime and Dinah and I wanted to do more than just a hike, but Saturday morning found Dinah tired, dragged down by a sore throat. A short hike was all we could plan for. So we jumped into our car and drove to the trailhead for Three Sisters Pass.

The trail took us through some surprising scenery along a creekbed and above a rocky canyon. We reached the pass in under two hours. Maybe the mountain air invigorated Dinah, or maybe the scenery piqued her curiosity, but at the pass Dinah yearned to do and see more. I was caught off guard, but we looked around to see what we could do. On our right, the impossible cliffs of Big Sister loomed above us, while left, although rife with cliff bands, Lawrence Grassi 5 appeared tamer.

We started up. The cliff bands, it turns out, were short and hid wide ledges, unseen from below (on our descent we learned that keeping south avoids most of the cliff bands). We pushed up the slope easily until we reached a shoulder that led to an upthrusting rocky point. Intimidated by the steep rock, Dinah waited on the shoulder while I went to check it out. It turned out to be a non-issue for around the corner I found an easy chute to scrabble up. I reached another shoulder. It too ended with steep rock, but it was steep and exposed so that Lawrence Grassi 5 lay out of reach for me. I took a panorama before rejoining Dinah.

Three Sisters Pass in itself is a pleasant and worthwhile destination, but extending it to include the South End of Lawrence Grassi with its routefinding, scrambling and far-ranging views, adds spice. Together, I should think the pass and the high point make a good trip for mixed abilities: you can leave your hiking buddies lollygagging on the pass and impress them by climbing high above them.

KML and GPX Tracks


Starting up the drainage


Hiking on the trail alongside the creekbed


Recent heavy rain had apparently created a torrent of water, bringing down trees


A trail avoids the waterfalls, bypassing high on the right bank


Passing a dramatic drainage on our right


Lots of varied scenery along the way


Looking back just before we enter the trees


Once out of the trees it's only few dozen metres to the pass


Looking north: this viewpoint (mouse over) can be easily reached but we had higher ambitions


Big Sister fills the background


Heading to the high point in the centre


Little and Middle Sisters


Easy ledges break up short cliff bands


Dinah looks for a way up the next cliff band


Pondering her next move


This was about as tricky as it got


Dinah calls it quits here


I started up


It turns out to be an easy-moderate scramble


Dinah's last view of me before I climbed out of sight (mouse over for a close-up)


Looking down at Dinah


Back at the pass, looking at the South End of Lawrence Grassi (click for a larger image)


Coming down the trail


82 O/3 Canmore

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