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"Commonwealth Ridge" (attempt)
Kananaskis, Alberta
February 13, 2010

When Dinah and I climbed Commonwealth Ridge in 2001 with a group, we never had a chance to try climbing higher. We returned to explore farther.

Following the well-packed trail that leads to Commonwealth Lake, we snowshoed to the foot of the ridge before starting our ascent. In a short time, we came across an old snowshoe track that followed the ridge to the shoulder above the treeline.

We continued up the ridge, but turned back when it became too steep and rocky for us. A winter scramble isn't for us. Exposed to the wind on the shoulder, our hands began to get cold so we didn't stick around long. I took a panorama and we started back down.

As we headed back we spied a track dropping down on the east slope and took it. It meandered down until it reached a north-south trail. We followed that trail back to the Commonwealth Lake Trail.

We later learned that the snowshoe track we had followed was laid down by the Rocky Mountain Ramblers six weeks earlier.

KML and GPX Tracks


Commonwealth Ridge and Peak from the road


Starting up the trail
The Fist appears on our right


Going up the ridge


Spray Valley spreads out below us


Entering a copse of larches


We reached the treeline


The Fist now appears as a pointed rock


We worked our way around to the shoulder (mouse over to look back)


On the shoulder


Mount Smuts and The Fist. The East Ridge of The Fist is another snowshoe trip.


Dinah continues up the ridge


Looking back at the shoulder


I stopped when the ridge became too steep to continue


Coming down


We followed a trail under a broken tree


Looking back at Commonwealth Ridge after descending the east slope (mouse over for a close-up)


82 J/14 Spray Lakes Reservoir

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