Judging from the amount of summit log entries on this relatively easy scramble this is a very popular destination. I signed it in mid August 2004 and the book while almost 60 pages were all registers from 2004. This is an "easy" scramble and something that can be done in a morning or afternoon depending on your fitness level. The crux of the day is early on on the route. This is easily bypassed to the left for those who want less exposure. From the summit you have an overview of Barrier lake and the surrounding peaks. If the weather is clear you can easily pick out Yamnuska
, the back of Heart Mountain
in the distance. During the Second World War there was a prison camp nearby and prisoners were allowed to climb this peak as a day trip if they promised to return.
Elevation gain from the road 800 metres
From Calgary take the Trans Canada Highway to the exit for the Kananaskis trail, Highway 40. Head south for approx 13 km.
From Canmore head south on the Trans Canada Highway for about 15-20 minutes to the exit for the Kananaskis trail, Highway 40. Head south for approx 13 km.
After the Barrier Lake Picnic area (at the south end of the lake) start looking on your left for a small stream. Once you see it you can pull off the road on the left into a small area big enough for 4-5 cars or carry on 50 yards and park off the road in a larger area to your right.
Note: When driving if you see a running brook with a wishing well called something like Shawnessy falls you have gone too far south and must backtrack 1000 yards. You will see the small stream on your right. Barrier lake will be on your left. I mention this as the guidebook "Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies" mentions the trail starts on the left 1.6km from the picnic area. My rental car had a digital odometer so I kept missing the stream. If you are lucky there will be others on the route and their cars will point you in the right direction.
There is no red tape to do this day trip scramble.
When To Climb
Usually the summer months. From April till sometimes as late as November. Snow conditions would dictate climbing at other times.
Book: SCRAMBLES IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES
Author: Alan Kane
For Mount Baldy - see pages: 87 and 88
There are campgrounds in the area if desired.
Spray Lakes West Shore Campground has 50 sites (403) 591-7226
There is also the Alpine Club of Canada lodge with rooms and excellent facilities of 21$ CDN a night for members. The Alpine Club of Canada (403) 678-3200, ext 1
Mountain ConditionsTrail reports for Kananaskis
Barrier Lake Information Centre
Phone (403) 673-3985 (toll free in Alberta 310-0000)
Spray Lake Ranger Station. (403) 678-5533
Alberta Tourist Visitor Centre (403) 678-5277
Joining a club such as The Alpine Club of Canada is recommended when climbing in Canada. While it is not obligatory, useful information can be had at any of their Clubhouse in Canmore, or at their website which is open to everyone.
The Alpine Club of Canada (403) 678-3200, ext 1
or (403) 762-2088 for weather conditions