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My inspiration for doing the Porcupine Ridge hike got here from a put up I noticed on Instagram in early Might – a time when most Alberta hikers are chomping on the bit to get into the mountains. The photograph confirmed a bit snow up excessive, however most had melted due to the south dealing with publicity. Quick ahead three weeks, and John and I did the hike. It’s a difficult one – however a rewarding one with actually distinctive views after you break by means of the bushes, about an hour into the hike.
The path is healthier than I anticipated and darned apparent for many of its size. It runs parallel to the Wasootch Ridge Path – which could be very common as a spring hike. From Porcupine Ridge, you too can see Boundary Ridge, the west ridge of Midnight Peak (accessed from the Baldy Cross path) and Tiara Peak. If you happen to’re mountaineering early within the season, you should definitely take heat garments as its windy on the ridge. Icers or microspikes could be a good suggestion if there was snow round. The identical goes for gaiters. This can be a fabulous hike that can assist get you in form for the mountaineering season.
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Porcupine Ridge hike particulars
Distance: Roughly 9.2 km return to the excessive level
Elevation achieve: 713 metres or 2340 ft
Time wanted: 4.5 – 6 hours
Map wanted: Gem Trek Canmore & Kananaskis Village
Canine allowed: Sure, on leash; water accessible in Porcupine Creek at begin and finish of hike
Household pleasant: No – greatest for older children who’ve achieved some scrambling
Porcupine Ridge hike description
I had learn a number of Porcupine Ridge hike descriptions, however I used to be all the time left confused. I hope I’m clear in my instructions.
The outline assumes a begin on the unofficial parking zone (see instructions on the backside of the put up) beside Freeway 40 the place it meets Porcupine Creek. Hike southeast up Porcupine Creek on a well-defined path for 1.2 km to achieve a bridge. The connector path from the Wasootch Day Use Space ends on the bridge. From right here you’ll shuttle throughout Porcupine Creek – maybe 4 of 5 instances, relying on water ranges, till you come to a fork and two branches of Porcupine Creek. There isn’t a proper or incorrect place to cross the creek. Generally there are logs bunched collectively, and at different instances you’ll should rock hop, however its all very simple. You may additionally go some individuals climbing on the cliffs.
You would possibly wish to have a dry pair of mountaineering socks in case you get a soaker. If water ranges are excessive, think about taking water sneakers or perhaps a light-weight pair of crocs for the crossings. Mountain climbing poles actually assist for stability.
On the location the place the 2 creeks meet (as proven on the Gem Trek map), you’ll discover a faint path straight forward, that climbs steeply up in a normal southeast path. That’s the one you need – and that’s the place the onerous work and climbing begins. About an hour from the trailhead, you’ll emerge from the bushes. At that time the grade eases barely and the views explode. You should definitely look again to see the mountain peaks together with “Mary Barclay’s Mountain” and Mount Lorette.
Work you means as much as the following excessive level on the ridge. The path is sweet as much as right here. There’s a brief aspect path the place you may get pleasure from an amazing view and take a look at a memorial bearing a cross and golf membership.
The subsequent part may have some individuals turning round BUT don’t. There may be one scramble up a slab but it surely’s brief. You might want somebody to provide you a lift to stand up. As soon as on prime of this, search for one other well-defined path alongside the ridge. It appears scarier in photographs than it truly is. From the top of it – which solely takes about 5 minutes to stroll, you’ll see the best way ahead to the actual summit ridge. Nonetheless, you probably have an enormous concern of publicity, you’ll not like this part.
After descending off this brief part of ridge, head left across the massive nob of rock in entrance of you. Proceed up by means of the woods, to achieve a flatter space. At this level there are two methods to the highest. Most individuals head up the rocky boulders and cease in need of a slab with some publicity you will need to climb. Others go around the rock on the backside – and I’m advised the path to the actual summit is simpler this fashion BUT the descent isn’t enjoyable. In that case, you’ll have to do a loop and are available down the slab (see photograph with hiker downclimbing).
I went up the boulder route and stopped in need of the climb up the slab to the very prime. That gave the impression to be what most individuals have been doing – so do what feels snug to you.
From there, retrace your steps, having fun with the superlative views on the best way down. Under are photographs that provides you with a good suggestion of what the Porcupine Ridge hike is actually like.
Discovering parking for the hike
There are a few choices relating to parking. The simplest factor to do is to drive south on Freeway 40 for 16.5 kilometres from the Trans-Canada Freeway to achieve Porcupine Creek. There’s a massive parking space BUT it’s off the freeway in a semi-developed space. There’s a grime street, and you may park alongside it. It will possibly really feel steep dropping down to achieve the parking space so some individuals pull over and park on the west aspect of the freeway. It can be harmful to make the left hand flip – so the opposite choice is to drive to the Wasootch Day Use Space, flip round after which drive north to Porcupine Creek.
The opposite choice is to park at Wasootch Creek Day Use Space and hike the connector path to Porcupine Creek. The draw back is that it’s going to add to your general mileage.
Location map for the Porcupine Ridge hike
Extra studying on Kananaskis hikes
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