Southwest Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 51.01030°N / 115.05844°W
Additional Information Route Type: Scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Walk-up
Sign the Climber's Log


Basically a repeat from the actual page
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.

Route Description

The trail starts as a series of switchbacks up through the forest from the roadside. You get glimpses of the lake behind you on occasion. Once you break free of the trees you will be faces with a rocky outcrop that you have the choice of either scrambling over if you are willing to live with the exposure. Or like most people traversing around this to the left, thus avoiding this completely. This is the most difficult part of this outing. After this there is an obvious trail that follows the ridge to the summit. From here you can return the same way or continue along the ridge to South Baldy and by extension West Baldy. There is a moderate scramble to follow this route at the south end of Mount Baldy's Summit. It is just a bit more difficult than most of the route so far. You should be confident on your ability of reclimbing this part before continuing. Past here it is an easy walk to South Baldy.

Essential Gear

Good hiking shoes
Wind shell
Fleece if it gets colder
Trekking poles

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.



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