Tent Ridge

Summit Elevation (m): 2545
Elevation Gain (m): 825
Trip Date: September 16 2012
Round Trip Time (hr): 5.5
Total Trip Distance (km): 10.5
Quick ‘n Easy Rating: Class 2 – You fall you sprain something
Difficulty Notes: Easy to moderate scrambling depending on conditions and routes chosen.
Technical Rating: SC5; YDS (Hiking)
GPS Track: Gaia
MapGoogle Maps

I’ve wanted to do a traverse around the Tent Ridge Loop for years already. When the family was heading out to the mountains to do a hike I decided this would be a perfect chance to do it. All I can say is follow Gillean Daffern’s guide TO THE LETTER. This includes walking BACK along the road from the parking area on the Mount Shark road. If you’re only going up Tent Ridge, take the obvious trail up the logging road a wee bit further UP the road and follow directions, but if you’re doing the loop ignore this obvious trail and walk BACK along the road, following her directions.

Tent Ridge Route Map.
Our first break, sitting under Tent Ridge in the meadows around the Monica Brook tarn.

The trail isn’t maintained or cleared so there’s some deadfall issues before getting to Monica Brook. From the brook onward the route is awesome – certainly the best ridge walk other than Northover Ridge that I’ve done in K-country. The route is best done clockwise (as per the guide) due to scrambling sections early on the ridge to the first high point. These aren’t difficult, but my wife didn’t love sections of them and the kids were a bit nervous on some of the exposed traverses. There are sections you really wouldn’t want to slip on, despite Gillean saying it’s not exposed at all. I would say easy to low moderate scrambling on sections of the initial ridge.

Hanneke coming up the ridge above the scrambling sections. Tent Ridge to the left and Spray Lakes behind.

From the ‘space command center‘ the hiking is pretty easy with wonderful views in all directions. The descent was quick and easy to follow – the correct trail is quite well marked. Make sure you don’t traverse too far skier’s right when coming down the ridge to tree line. There’s a branch in the trail on the scree slope – follow the left one. You will come down the obvious trail that you could see UP the road from the parking area.

View looking east from the first summit. Peaks include Commonwealth Ridge, Commonwealth Peak, Pigs Tail, Birdwood, The Fist and Smuts (l to r).
Looking down Monica Brook drainage, Tent Ridge on the left and the first high point on the right.

My kids were 11 and 13 when we did this route, but they’ve done scrambling before. Do not choose this as your first hike in the mountains but otherwise this trail lives up to it’s stellar reputation.

Summit shot.

Looking towards The Fist, Mount Birdwood and Mount Smuts from the summit.

Tryst Lake and gorgeous fall colors.

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