|  Home |  Canada Trips |  US Trips |  Hiking |  Snowshoeing |  MAP |  About

Mount Rae
Kananaskis, Alberta
September 15, 2001
Distance: 8.3 km
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 1156 m

The first time I climbed Mount Rae, I was a novice leader, not to mention a novice scrambler. When we climbed the steep scree gully, I loosed a rock that struck Melanie, a member in our group, in the head. None of us was wearing a helmet, nor had I taken any precautions to keep the group together.

When I realized Melanie was seriously injured, I sent another member of our group, Dan, back to seek help. Melanie had received a deep cut from a glancing blow from a rock the size of a football. After about an hour of resting, she was well enough to walk, and we started hiking back. Meanwhile, after driving down the highway, Dan stopped a warden and brought him up the trail where we ran into them. The warden asked if I wanted a helicopter or an ambulance. I declined the helicopter but requested an ambulance. He radioed for a ambulance to meet us at the trailhead.

We met the ambulance at the trailhead, and the medical attendants checked Melanie. They said she needed stitches. We declined their offer for a ride (at $10 per km). Oddly, there was no charge for having them drive to the trailhead and check the injury. We drove to the Canmore hospital where Melanie was treated. In preparation the doctor had to remove some her long, red hair. Before suturing her, he showed me her blue-white skull that the cut revealed. That was something. Melanie received stitches and was released.

When I returned a few years later, you can be sure we all wore helmets and stuck together! Wayne, Kari, Dinah and I bagged Mount Rae without incident. The trip begins with a hike up Ptarmigan Cirque trail, a popular destination in itself. At the end of the cirque, we scrambled up to the ridge crest. We followed the ridge to the top of Mount Rae. On our return, we took a trail in the scree below the crest.

GPX and KML Tracks

Mount Rae seen from Highwood Ridge

Highwood Ridge from Ptarmigan Cirque

Looking down the ascent gully

Kari and Wayne on the ridge

Climbing up the chimney underneath the chockstone

Kari scrambles under the chockstone

Standing on the chockstone

Dinah and Kari on the ridge

Ascending the ridge near the top

On the summit

Heading back down the ridge using the trail

Looking back as we hike down Ptarmigan Cirque trail

Pocaterra Ridge

82 J/10 Mount Rae

Kane | Canada | Home