OverviewMount Engadine is part of the Kananaskis Range named after WWI battleships. (Engadine is also a famous tourist spot in the Swiss Alps). Kananaskis Provincial Park borders to the south the four connecting national parks that make up the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Mount Engadine was first ascended in 1956 by Fraser, Gorrill and Hicks.
Mount Engadine is one of the less-frequently climbed peaks bordering Spray Lakes Road. More than likely due to its tedious bushwhack approach and descent. But the fact that you can do a full western traverse of the mountain makes it an interesting objective. In summer conditions Engadine’s west-northwest ridge is a difficult scramble. In early season or winter conditions it is an alpine climb. Its summit gives up fine views of the Spray Lakes Reservoir and surrounding peaks. I climbed Mount Engadine in June of 2005, but in early conditions with prevailing mini-storms. My scramble, therefore, became a full on Alpine climb. No glacier travel, but a 800’ steep hardpack snow ridge, some waist deep know on the final summit ridge making a line along an overhanging cornice and a deep snow descent through considerable avalanche terrain. Without the snow, I am sure the route is much more reasonable. There are no published alpine rock or ski routes on Engadine.
Getting ThereFrom the Canmore Nordic Center, drive 32 km south on the Spray Lakes/Smith Dorrien Road (gravel). Turn right at signs for the Buller Mountain Day Use parking lot. You are guaranteed mountain sheep on the road and once in a blue moon, a moose or two. Watch for hazardous rock fall on the switchbacks above Canmore.
Red TapeThere are no permit requirements to enter, climb and/or park in Kananaskis Provincial Park. This is active grizzly country however. Take bear spray. There are no park headquarters on this road. Kananaskis Park headquarters are located on Highway 40 east of Canmore. Any recent notices will be posted on the bulletin board at that location. If they are open, check in with the ranger staff, they have tons of beta and are always friendly.
This is active grizzly country, therefore, you should always have bear spray on your person. We just had a grizzly fatality in Canmore, June, 2005. I do advise checking with the park website link provided above for possible trail closures.