SW Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 50.93074°N / 115.10239°W
Additional Information Route Type: Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Easy
Sign the Climber's Log

Route Description

Looking North From Wasootch Summit
There are three main parts to this climb:

Forested Area - the beginning of this climb starts with a forested creek bed which at first seems dried up but later because a small stream. The wooded area becomes quite dence after the first 15-20 minutes of the accent. Some parts become more open which makes for great photo ops, but at one point you are in a pretty dence logpole pined forest. The trail is well defined and no bush wacking is needed.

Thinning Forest/Rocky Terrain - the second part of this climb takes place in a tree scattered area. It consists of small rock bands which are only 10-15 ft high at any point ( there are maybe two of these ). Most of this area is just small scattered rock cliffs, a little loose rock and some downed trees from wind and a fire that swept through the valley years ago.

Scree and Rock - The last third of this climb is everyones favorite, scree. Fun on the way down, but a bugger on the way up. Don't worry this doesn't last long. Nearing the summmit, more solid rock appears which is nice to hold on to while dragging yourself to the top. The ground is a little more sterdy for the last 10 minutes of this climb.

You can expect anywhere from 4 - 6 hours for this round trip. Alot depend on your stop at the top.

Getting There

Follow the Trans Canada, west from Calgary and east from Banff or Canmore to the Highway 40 ( Kananaskis Trail ). Expect an hour and fifteen from Calgary's city limits, 45 mins from Banff, AB and about 35 from Canmore, AB.
On Highway 40, you'll pass the Morley Flats, Barrier Lake and the Tim Horton's Camp for Under Privilaged Children before you get to the starting point of Wasootch Peak. Just before you hit the Kananaskis Village sign where one would turn for the Kananaskis Village or Nakiska Ski Hill, you will see what appears to be a dried creek bed emptying into the ditch on the left hand side of the road. This is where you will park and start your hike. The trail is mark at the begining by orange tape around trees. Remember to stay to the left of the creek at all times for this route. Once in the forested area you will just have to watch for the marking on the trees which lead you up the trail. The trail is pretty well beaten for most of the way to the top. Once entering the scree area, I would stay near the solid rock on the right hand side of this scree. It aids you as holds on the scree and at some points its better to climb on this rock. Staying to the right of the scree will also help you find a small notch in the rock that will lead you to the summit cairn.

Essential Gear

Southern Ridge Looking down the SW Ridge.
Not much gear is needed for this climb. A good day pack with all the essentials ( water, snacks, sunscreen etc ) will do. Trekking poles are a good idea but not needed. If climbing in the early spring, late fall or winter months an ice axe would help alot.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.