In Memoriam: Becky Mansour
On September 11, 2015, Becky Mansour, 59, passed away following a tragic fall on Mount Daly on August 23. An avid hiker and scrambler, she completed hundreds of trips. Dinah and I had the pleasure of knowing her on a few trips and would like her to be remembered. As well as joining her on Crystal Ridge, we were with her on Crystal Ridge GR, Noseeum Peak, Quartzite Peak and Twin Cairns.
While shopping at Mountain Equipment Co-op last week, Dinah and I ran into Zora, a hiking friend we hadn't seen in years. She planned to lead a snowshoe trip up Crystal Ridge with the HOGs (Hostel Outdoor Group) and invited us to come. Dinah and I had snowshoed this ridge in 2001 with the HOGs where we discovered football-sized crystals (hence the derived name for this unnamed ridge) but never reached the crest. Since we had always wanted to return, we accepted.
Dinah and I met Zora and her three companions – Craig, Becky and Adrian – at the Lake Louise info centre. We piled into our cars, drove up Hwy. 93 and parked at the Crowfoot Glacier view point.
Having snowshoed Crystal Ridge many times, Zora knew the area but had never attempted the summit. She led us up the main trail before leaving it to follow old snowshoe tracks. After stopping for lunch above the treeline, we pushed on to the ridge top.
A steep, rubbly slope discouraged a direct ascent, so we veered left and headed to a col. After the col, Craig hung back while the rest of us followed the ridge to the summit. The clear skies allowed superb views of several recognizable peaks.
It was a beautiful winter day to climb Crystal Ridge made even better with an enthusiastic bunch of snowshoers!
Behind me, Craig watches Adrian
Trees began to thin
Bow Lake in the background
Zora breaks trail
Looking back from our rest stop
We stop for lunch in the lee of a slope
Looking back at the rest stop
The steep, rocky slope ahead didn't look inviting so we'll turn left
A gentle grade leads to a col
View from the col. Helen-Kate Ridge in the foreground.
After starting up the ridge, Dinah points out Cirque Peak to Adrian
Heading to the summit
We spread out along the ridge
Looking northwest up the valley
Adrian, Dinah, Becky, Zora and me on the summit
Coming down: note the huge cornice. We kept to the edge of the rocks for safety.
Heading down from the col
Back at the parking lot, Crystal Ridge behind
82 N/9 Hector Lake