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Little Arethusa
Kananaskis, Alberta
September 24, 2011

Distance: 4.5 km
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 613 m

I've always wanted to climb Little Arethusa and there is no better time than when the larches are turning yellow.

From the trailhead south of Little Arethusa, Dinah and I followed the path on the right side of the creek. After the trail crosses the creek, it splits and we took the left fork. The trail meandered through colourful larches before climbing to an open ridge below Little Arethusa.

Instead of working our way around to the lower slope farther west – where, it turns out, there's an excellent trail going up the mountain – we headed directly to the ridge crest. On the crest, we found what must be the most dramatic view of the ridge: ad impressive drop on the east side. We followed the ridge to the summit.

After a short stay on top of Little Arethusa, we took the trail down the south slope, but instead of retracing our steps all the way back to our car, it appeared feasible to continue offtrail directly to the creek. This route tempted us for two reasons. Not only would it be shorter and quicker, but it would take us through a final stand of larches. Travel was easy and enjoyable through the towering, yellowing trees.

As we descended, the larches soon gave way to evergreens. We did, however, encounter some deadfall as we bushwhacked down to the creek. We could have crossed the creek and got back on trail, but instead we followed the pretty stream back to the parking lot.

KML and GPX Tracks

On the drive to the trailhead, we passed moose feeding on the roadside

Little Arethusa from the highway

We come to first larches

It begins to open up

Beautiful larches everywhere

We left the larches behind

Arethusa Cirque behind us

Little Arethusa ahead

As we started up the lower slope, Karl Scholl, whom I had exchange emails with, took this photo

Heading to the ridge crest

Impressive cliffs before the summit

Looking back along the ridge

Following the trail left of the crest

Looking back. Storm Mountain on the left.

On the tiny summit

Looking across Highwood Pass. Note the parking lower left. Larch-covered Pocaterra Ridge in the foreground.

Heading down the south slope

Looking back

Looking across Arethusa Cirque

An enjoyable hike through the larches lay ahead

Hiking through the larches

The creek

82 J/10 Mount Rae

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