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Limestone Mountain

 
Limestone Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Alberta, Canada, North America

Lat/Lon: 50.85810°N / 115.15732°W

Object Title: Limestone Mountain

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 7129 ft / 2173 m

 

Page By: Old School WB

Created/Edited: Feb 22, 2013 / Feb 22, 2013

Object ID: 839790

Hits: 1031 

Page Score: 80.25%  - 13 Votes 

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Overview

Limestone Mountain is a minor peak, more like an outlier of The Wedge, than a separate summit. This peak is the runt of the Opal Range, but it is an officially named summit. This little peak only reaches 2173 metres (7,129ft.) and has very little prominence from its larger neighbour. From the shared col with The Wedge, the elevation gain to the summit of Limestone Mountain is only 53 metres. Prominence measurement on topographic base map – Northern section of Opal Range.

This summit likely only sees attention from hikers and scramblers since it has an official name. No information is available on the source of the name or the first ascent party. The predominant rock type in the Canadian Rockies, and in the Opal Range, is limestone, assumedly this is where the name for this peak originated from. The only published information is in Andrew Nugara’s book, “More Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies”.

Getting There

 
Limestone Mountain
South Side

Easy highway access from Highway 40 along the western edge of the Opal Range provides the best approach. Highway 40 provides access from the Trans Canada Highway in the north, and continues south to the Longview area, but the southern section is closed for wildlife protection from December 1 to June 15 each winter/spring. Best vehicle access from Canmore/Banff or Calgary is via the Trans Canada Highway, south along Highway 40.

Both the West and South Ridge routes can be accessed by parking in the Galatea Day Use Area parking lot, 32.5 km south of Highway 1. Rocky Creek crosses Highway 40 about 1.5 km south of the Galatea parking area, and one can park in the roadside ditch, but ensure your vehicle is parked in a safe location off the highway and not damaging any vegetation.

Red Tape/Camping and Bivouacs

The parking area to access Limestone Mountain is located in Spray Valley Provincial Park. No permit or fee is required to park or climb in this park. The ascent of Limestone Mountain is easily completed in a day and a bivouac is not required. Backcountry camping permits are required at all designated backcountry campgrounds anywhere in Kananaskis Country. Random backcountry camping is not permitted in Provincial Parks or Provincial Recreation Areas in Kananaskis Country. For more information contact the Barrier Lake Visitor Information Centre or the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Visitor Information Centre during normal hours of operation.

When to Climb

Typical Canadian Rockies situation with July and August providing the best conditions for high elevation climbing. Limestone Mountain is actually really low elevation, and with the position in the dry front ranges, this extends the summer season and the peak is usually dry from May to late October.

Approach

 
Nearing base of West Ridge
West Ridge
The approach to Limestone Mountain does not use any formal trails or even follow a well worn human or game trail. The approach is completely undeveloped, either starting with a bush bash or a slog up a creek bed, follow by bush bashing. The Galatea Day Use Area is the best parking location for the West Ridge route. This parking lot can be used for the South Ridge route, but a 1.5 kilometre walk along the highway is required. Parking is allowed along the highway, beside Rocky Creek, but ensure your vehicle is parked in a safe location off the highway and not damaging any vegetation.

For the West Ridge approach, head east across the highway from the parking lot and pick the line of least resistance up the steep treed slope. Occasional horizontal ledges provide some relief from the steep grade. At approximately 1800 metres (250m of elevation gain from the highway) a lightly treed bench is reached, head to the base of the West Ridge.

Parking in the ditch at Rocky Creek is the best option for the South Ridge. From the ditch head east and upstream for about 400 metres, then take a left, north, to gain the lower South Ridge through light trees.

Route Descriptions

The only published information is in Andrew Nugara’s book, “More Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies”. Andrew describes the South Ridge route.


- West Ridge, Class 2-3 (easy/moderate scramble)


The West Ridge is a simple ascent of a treed, slabby rock ridge with the odd step or gully providing some scrambling interest, several variations are possible up the ridge, all straightforward. From flattish bench west of the peak aim for the rocky base of the West Ridge. The sheer lower nose of the ridge can be avoided by ascending a loose and steep gully left (north) of the nose. Once the on the treed ridge, the occasional slab step provides some interest, but travel is easy and views improve as you leave the trees. Mild exposure along the summit ridge to the top. Descent same route.




- South Ridge, Class 2-3 (easy/moderate scramble)

The South Ridge is also a simple ascent. From the Rocky Creek drainage, head north to gain the slight treed South Ridge. As you ascend the ridge it becomes more prominent and defined. Soon a short steep step bars the ridge. Ascend the ridge line with moderate scrambling (Class 3) on loose rock with mild exposure. A few steep steps are encountered on route to the summit. Descent same route or the West Ridge route




Reference

The only published information is in Andrew Nugara’s book, “More Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies”.


Images

West RidgeLow down on the South Ridge of LimestoneLimestone MountainScrambling South Ridge of Limestone Mtn.Limestone Mtn. from southMisty conditions on West RidgeNearing base of West Ridge