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Wolverine Ridge
Skoki, Alberta
September 27, 2020
Distance: 14.3 km
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 778 m

Skiers may be attracted to Wolverine Ridge when it's covered in snow in the winter, but it was the larches that enticed us to hike it in the fall. The trees, now yellow, not only line the slopes of the ridge; they also blanket the valley below.

Zora, Dinah and I got the idea to climb Wolverine when we did Unity Peak a couple of months ago. Like Unity, we started up Temple Lodge Road, but this time we had unexpected company. We were pleasantly surprised when a friend caught up to us. Marta Wojnarowska, whom Dinah and I know from socials and hiking, was climbing Lipalian Mountain, Purple Peak and Unity Peak.

Time passed quickly as the four of us chatted while trudging up the road. Soon after the road ends, and Boulder Pass trail takes over, Marta left us to start up Lipalian. Zora, Dinah and I continued on and took the side trail to Wolverine Valley. The valley trail didn't take us far up the mountain, so we soon left it and headed up the steep slope, threading easily through yellow larches.

After gaining the ridge, we realized we had reached a high point on the west end, but a high point on the east end offered competition. Sure enough, when we reached it, it was a few metres higher: the summit.

We weren't ready to turn around yet, not on a clear day when larches dazzled under the sun. So we continued east along the ridge and crossed the col that connects Wolverine Ridge to Purple Peak. We continued toward Purple before turning left and descending into Wolverine Valley. We followed the valley, down through larches to a bluff overlooking a meadow. It was a nice viewpoint, but it was a bit awkward to descend from. To reach the meadow, we had to get around the cliffs and bushwhack thick forest. But once we reached the meadow, we easily made our way back through larches to the trail we started up on. We still faced the long walk down Temple Lodge Road, but we decided never to return up this road again to Skoki – at least until next year!

KML and GPX Tracks

Zora, Dinah and Marta walk up the road with Wolverine Ridge ahead

Marta will soon leave us to start up Lipalian Mountain

Hiking to Wolverine Valley

The trail grows faint after it enters the valley

Eventually we left the trail and headed up the slope

We quickly gained elevation on the steep slope

A rabbit remained still as we passed by

The grade steepens on the open slope. Unity Peak in the background.

On the west end of the ridge

Looking down at the valley

Looking at the east end of the ridge

Mount Temple dominates the foreground

Lipalian Mountain

After reaching the summit, we went to Wolverine-Purple Peak Col

It's a short drop to the col

After climbing up the other side of the col, we were a bit higher than Wolverine Ridge

Meanwhile, Marta was heading to Purple-Unity Col (mouse over for a close-up)

We dropped down to Wolverine Valley

Mount Redoubt in the centre

Larches were spread across the valley

We continued down the valley

From a bluff, we had a good view of Wolverine. Afterwards we dropped down to the boulder field below.

Looking back at the bluff

Looking up at the bluff after reaching the edge of the boulder field

Continuing down the valley to pick up the trail we came up on

Walking back down the road

82 N/8 Lake Louise

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