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scrambling Lady MacDonald, Canmore, Alberta

Posted May 27 2009 11:41pm

I was looking for a good first hike of the season. And a chance to test my full set of gear.

My original plan of scrambling Ha Ling, then wild camping, was abandoned after I heard about a better option from local hiker Kelly Mock.

In fact, I walked out Kelly’s front door directly to the trailhead and up the mountain to this gorgeous vista.

teahouse-view

… Just above the treeline you’ll find a large helicopter landing pad, a steel ramp for paragliders, and the remains of a teahouse that was being constructed but is now abandoned. A gazebo just to the east of the teahouse sits on the edge of a large cliff. The views from here are spectacular. A number of hikers end their hike here as it’s already been a hard push to get this far, and the scree slope above can be daunting for non-scramblers. …

TrailPeak – Mount Lady MacDonald

Actually, it’s an easy and popular hike straight up to the ill fated teahouse. Most do not go higher as it’s recommended you have mountaineering skills on the ridge.

That’s not far wrong. The slippery scree takes you up to a knife edge ridge with killer views into the Cougar Creek drainage. In summer it’s merely daunting.

Lady-MacDonald
flickr – Marc Shandro – larger version

In the Spring it’s hairier. It looks like you might fall right through the melting cornice at spots.

MacDonald-in-April
flickr – iHeartDimSum – larger version

I stopped when I got to the snow.

Lady MacDonald is a terrific option for fit hikers. Each in your group can stop where they want. Most will relax at the teahouse or the gazebo until the adventurous return from the ridge.

This is a good hike with dogs. Don’t let them chase after the resident mountain sheep.

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