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Lorette, Mount

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.

Mount Lorette Route Map

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.

A lonely tree makes a nice foreground subject as I start up the long gully on Lorette.

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.

Looking back down the ascent gully to Wasootch and The Wedge at distant right.
A very fore-shortened view up the ascent gully from about half way up it.

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! 😉

With the snow I was forced to stick to the ridge which made the scramble upper moderate in my view – with lots of exposure and cornices to the left.
Views towards Skogan Peak from the summit ridge.

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. 

L to R, Fisher, Wedge, Kidd, Olympic, Bogart, Allen, Sparrowhawk, Lougheed,  Collembolla, Big Sister, Skogan Pass, Skogan, Twin Towers, Yates.
Views over Kananaskis Village include Fisher at left and Kidd and Ribbon at right.

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!

Mount Lorette
42 photos
A lonely tree makes a nice foreground subject as I start up the long gully on Lorette.
A lonely tree makes a nice foreground subject as I start up the long gully on Lorette.
Looking south past Wasootch to The Wedge at distant center.
Looking south past Wasootch to The Wedge at distant center.
Wasootch Peak.
Wasootch Peak.
Looking back down the ascent gully to Wasootch.
Looking back down the ascent gully to Wasootch.
Steep cliffs line the ascent gully. Climbers have fallen down these cliffs while free soloing. :(
Steep cliffs line the ascent gully. Climbers have fallen down these cliffs while free soloing. 🙁
Steep cliffs line the ascent gully.
Steep cliffs line the ascent gully.
A very fore-shortened view up the ascent gully from about half way up it.
A very fore-shortened view up the ascent gully from about half way up it.
The weather stayed nice for most of my ascent up the gully, making for some fantastic scenery. This is looking south past the climbers ascent ridge.
The weather stayed nice for most of my ascent up the gully, making for some fantastic scenery. This is looking south past the climbers ascent ridge.
Grinding up the scree gully.
Grinding up the scree gully.
Grinding up the scree gully.
Grinding up the scree gully.
Views back down the gully from near the top.
Views back down the gully from near the top.
Views north as I reach the summit ridge.
Views north as I reach the summit ridge.
Twin Towers (L), Yates, Mary Barclay's and Baldy (R).
Twin Towers (L), Yates, Mary Barclay's and Baldy (R).
Twin Towers (L), Yates, Mary Barclays, Baldy, Midnight, Midday, Wasootch and Lorette (R).
Twin Towers (L), Yates, Mary Barclays, Baldy, Midnight, Midday, Wasootch and Lorette (R).
Looking back down the top of the ascent gully from the bump that nearly killed me!
Looking back down the top of the ascent gully from the bump that nearly killed me!
Views towards Skogan Peak from the summit ridge.
Views towards Skogan Peak from the summit ridge.
With the snow I was forced to stick to the ridge which made the scramble upper moderate in my view - with lots of exposure and cornices to the left.
With the snow I was forced to stick to the ridge which made the scramble upper moderate in my view - with lots of exposure and cornices to the left.
L to R, Baldy, Midnight, Midday, Boundary, Porcupine, Wasootch, Fisher, Wedge and Kidd (R).
L to R, Baldy, Midnight, Midday, Boundary, Porcupine, Wasootch, Fisher, Wedge and Kidd (R).
L to R, Kidd, Olympic, Bogart, Sparrowhawk, Lougheed, Big Sister, Skogan, Twin Towers, Yates
L to R, Kidd, Olympic, Bogart, Sparrowhawk, Lougheed, Big Sister, Skogan, Twin Towers, Yates
Views over Kananaskis Village.
Views over Kananaskis Village.
Views over Kananaskis Village include Fisher at left and Kidd and Ribbon at right.
Views over Kananaskis Village include Fisher at left and Kidd and Ribbon at right.
Looking east over Mount Baldy to Lusk Ridge.
Looking east over Mount Baldy to Lusk Ridge.
This is the ridge that I took to the summit - don't slip to the left!
This is the ridge that I took to the summit - don't slip to the left!
Now I wish I did the traverse to Skogan while I was there...
Now I wish I did the traverse to Skogan while I was there...
The summit is guarded by some pretty impressive cliffs on the northeast side.
The summit is guarded by some pretty impressive cliffs on the northeast side.
Mount Lougheed III, II and I loom over Mount Collembolla.
Mount Lougheed III, II and I loom over Mount Collembolla.
Mount Lougheed I.
Mount Lougheed I.
Vern descends off the summit ridge.
Vern descends off the summit ridge.
More views of the exposure on the summit ridge.
More views of the exposure on the summit ridge.
Looking forward to going down the scree gully.
Looking forward to going down the scree gully.
The gully is fast travel for the most part.
The gully is fast travel for the most part.
Looking back up the scree gully.
Looking back up the scree gully.
Good timing! The weather socks in the mountain as I take one last look back from the car.
Good timing! The weather socks in the mountain as I take one last look back from the car.

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