When I snowshoed up Rummel Ridge back in 2004, the northwest approach was still fresh and original. However, when I recently returned it was a veritable highway, a trail trampled into the snow. But since we had to be back to Calgary early, that just made it easier.
Zora, Kari, Keith and I drove down Smith-Dorrien Trail and parked on the roadside just north of Rummel Creek. A popular spot, there were already a few cars parked here, and a large snowshoeing group was starting up an obvious trail, broad and pounded down by skis. Where that trail went, I don’t know, because after snowshoeing up it for 300 m, we left it and headed to the northwest end of Rummel Ridge. After crossing a side drainage, we caught a good trail going up the ridge. Actually, there were a few snowshoe trails weaving along the ridge, but we tried to stick close to the crest.
Traveling through trees we lost sense of high up the ridge we were, but when we encountered larches we knew we were closing in on the summit. Then the trees fell away and we had a glorious view of Spray Lakes behind us. A bit more tramping in the snow brought us to the top of Rummel Ridge.
On the summit we met a couple of hikers. Hikers? We learned one had forgotten to bring snowshoes and the other had decided to go without. But whether you snowshoe, hike, or crawl to the summit of Rummel Ridge in winter, the surrounding snow-covered peaks will appear equally splendid.
Postscript: After posting this trip I heard from Alf Skrastins. He suggests staying on the main trail – actually a firebreak – to a fork in the creek:
From the road, we started down an obvious winter trail north of Rummel Creek
Crossing a side drainage
Going up the ridge
Because of trees, there is little to see on most of the ridge
Tiny glades brought some relief from being in a forest
We finally broke free of the forest
Keith (red jacket) waits on the summit
Me, Kari Haas, Zora Knezevic, and Keith Ferguson
From the road, Rummel Ridge isn't much to look at
82 J/14 Spray Lakes Reservoir