Helen-Kate Ridge (attempt)
Icefields Parkway, Alberta
April 6, 2002

I was drawn to attempt this unnamed ridge, which I call Helen-Kate, after seeing the gentle grade on a contour map. As a snowshoe trip, it looked inviting. We would, though, have to take avalanche equipment since we would cross avalanche slopes.

Despite the gentle contour lines, our route was both more scenic and trickier than I expected. After going up a beautiful miniature canyon I was stumped as how to gain the ridge above it. After exploring the base of steep slopes and cliffs no egress presented itself. A more careful search, however, revealed a weakness that allowed us access to the ridge. We soon had to leave this ridge to gain another ridge. We had to end the trip when we realized we were running out of time. Three years later we returned to complete the trip.


We snowshoed on fresh, deep snow.


Snowshoeing in the canyon


Layers of snow on the rock


The icefall


Looking up the icefall


While searching for a way to get above the ice fall, we come to a cliff band.


Eventually we find a way to reach the ridge above the icefall. We'll drop down on the
right to gain the next ridge.


Climbing up the next ridge


Beautiful thick snow on the slopes


Heading back to the icefall we pass this tree.


Going back down the canyon

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