Summit Elevation (m): 2469
Trip Date: Saturday, March 25, 2006
Elevation Gain (m): 1050
Round Trip Time (hr): Unknown
Total Trip Distance (km): 7
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2/3 – you fall, you might sprain something
Difficulty Notes: The crux might be accessing the lower mountain, either by biking along the Kananaskis River or crossing it directly. The upper ridge is somewhat exposed.
Technical Rating: SC5; YDS (3rd)
Map: Google Maps
On Saturday, March 25 2006 I headed down to K-country to do a front range scramble. One mountain that I’ve wanted to do for a while already was Mount Lorette. This mountain is normally climbed via an exciting ridge, but this required rock gear and is not really a scramble. The climbers descent route was my ascent route for the day. Originally I thought that I only had about 900 meters vertical to reach the summit but on completion realized that 1050 meters is a more accurate number.
The crux of this trip is probably crossing the Kananaskis River! I had a few nervous moments as the water got deeper and faster the closer I came to the opposite bank – but I made it through OK. Next was a bit of a bushwhack but nothing too serious. I simply headed for the outlet creek on the bottom of the descent gully and soon was toiling up the dry creek bed.
I really enjoyed the gully. There were steep walls all around me and the weather was beautiful. After starting out under thick clouds, some patches of blue sky were now appearing and the sun was very warm on my face as I continued to climb. I was surprised by the number of falling rocks in the gully – apparently Lorette is in the process of crumbling down to nothing! The scree wasn’t too bad either and as I got higher I actually found a beaten trail which made the hiking even easier.
As I got to the top of the descent gully I noticed that I could go left or right. The left way was more direct and avoided a bump on the ridge but there were signs of recent snow slides and cornices were overhanging the whole route so naturally I chose the right hand gully. This part was not fun at all. The rock was very loose and the gully was very steep. Once I finally got to the top of the gully I realized that the ‘bump’ was quite large and since I knew I’d be losing elevation on the other side of it I was not happy climbing it! 😉
Soon I was over the bump and realized that the elevation loss wasn’t that bad. The remaining route to the summit looked a bit more challenging than I thought it would be but I kept going. Because of the snow, I stuck to the ridge rather than traversing, which would have been much less exposed. Sticking to the ridge actually produced some fantastic scrambling and I quite enjoyed the final section to the summit.
After spending some time on the summit, soaking in the views it was time to head down. I really enjoyed the mountain and some day I’ll be back to climb the ‘real’ route!