Lusk Ridge (Hunchback Hills)

Moody skies over Barrier Lake.

Summit Elevation (m): 2066
Trip Date: Friday, May 4, 2018
Elevation Gain (m): 1050
Round Trip Time (hr): 8.5
Total Trip Distance (km): 22.5
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 1 – you fall, you’re stupid
Difficulty Notes: No difficulties other than some routefinding and choosing the right conditions (early or late season).
Technical Rating: OT3; YDS (Hiking)
GPS Track: Download

There isn’t a ton to say about this hike to be honest with you. Phil and I were planning a much “sexier” peak for Friday, May the 4th (be with you), but due to lingering snow and uncertainty about the winds that were forecast, we changed our minds a few times and finally settled on an “easy” backup of Lusk Ridge / Hunchback Hills for the day. I’ll let my photos do most of the talking on this trip report other than to say it was an enjoyable hike on a beautiful day, but not something that’s likely done very often for good reason.

Lusk Ridge Route Map

Most folks do only the Hunchback Hill hike that’s listed in Daffern’s book and detailed on Bob Spirko’s site but we decided to do the entire Lusk Ridge loop, including many sub peaks along the way. Making our day slightly silly was the fact that the Powderface Trail road was still closed, necessitating a long walk back along the road at the end of the day, padding our stats to over 22km of distance! Base training for later season I suppose.

Forest floor detritus is always interesting.
Looking towards Lusk Ridge main summit.
Enjoying a nice viewpoint along the ridge.
A surprising number of Kananaskis and front range peaks visible from here including (L to R), Baldy West, Sparrowhawk, Wind, Mary Barclays, Lougheed III, Lougheed II, Lougheed I, Baldy, Skogan, Jewell Peak, Grant MacEwan, McGillivray, Grotto, Yates, Gap and Fable among others of course.
My favorite part of the entire day was this open ridge traverse towards South Lusk in warm sunshine with great views.
Moody skies over Barrier Lake.
Moody skies over Barrier Lake.
A long walk out along the Powderface Trail which has been closed all winter and doesn’t open for a few weeks yet.

Overall I would never repeat Lusk Ridge and I would likely not even recommend it unless you’re a geochacher. Sure! It has some decent and unique views of the front ranges, but it’s manky and not very pleasant for a lot of the route. Of course, if you did it without snow and parked a vehicle at each end you wouldn’t suffer from postholing hell and road walking purgatory either.

Lusk Ridge
75 photos

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