Mount Lady Macdonald
An easy scramble above Canmore with an interesting finish.


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The trail up Lady Macdonald is a popular, well beaten path, maintained to the teahouse site.
Beyond that point, it turns to scramble up loose slope, ending with a short, difficult ridgewalk to the actual summit.

We had planned for Wind Ridge this day, but found the weather not so great, and went to Lady Macdonald for some more interesting terrain.

The first section of the trail, the 2.5km of 'official' trail is on good path, which ascends agressively to just above treeline, at which is found the site of an abandoned teahouse in construction. There were once plans to build here, and a small gazebo and helicopter pad/paraglider takeoff exist, but the teahouse never got past its foundations, which lie as an ugly mess on the side of the mountain.

Path along Cougar Creek at start.

Trail climbs quickly through the trees.

Group hikes up the switchbacks.

Peter and Gorana coming up the trail.

Group ascends along ridgeline with a view.

First view up the trail of the scramble ahead.

Trail moves west a little to show us the summit.

Strange seams in a rock.

My (small) foot for scale.

Fardad hikes with Three Sisters in the background.

Jenn on a viewpoint back across the valley.

Group reaches the treehouse and the rock.

Change in terrain above the teahouse site.

We stopped for a snack on the helipad, then continued upward.
The beginning of the upper section is 'trail' through loose rock and scree, which becomes tougher as you ascend.
Higher up, the mountain becomes a mix of deeper scree and larger loose rocks, intruded by ribs and bits of slab.
We stuck to the jutting ribs as much as possible, and found the going relatively easy.

Scrambling up an exposed rib.

Jenn ascends the rib - teahouse site below.

Some 250m above the end of the official trail, we reach the false summit, which was the high point for most of the group.
Only slightly lower than the actual, and still affording an excellent view, the rest of the group stayed here while I continued to the real summit.
Beyond the lower summit, the scramble becomes much more challenging, with significant exposure down both sides as you traverse a 100m or so ridge.
There is one low point which requires a little more scrambling, but for the most part it is not technically difficult, but simply airy.

Group at the lower summit, with Grotto Mountain behind.

Looking along ridge to summit.

Summit ahead from the low point.

Lower summit from the true one.

Pano shot from the summit.

After regrouping, we headed back down the trail, stopping briefly to explore the gazebo along the way.

Scree running back down the upper mountain.

Gorana and Jenn descend below treeline.

Three sisters from the trail.

Break in Cougar Creek for a nice footwash.

something fossilized from along the summit ridge.

Queen Anne's Lace ().

???

Prickly Wild Rose (rosa acicularis).

Prickly Wild Rose (rosa acicularis).

Parry's Townsendia (townsendia parryi).

Wild Gaillardia (gaillardia aristata).

Heart-leaved Arnica (arnica cordifolia).

Spotted Saxifrage (saxifraga bronchialis).

Common Harebell (campanula rotundifolia).

Wild Blue Flax (linum lewisii).

Photos taken by Rachel.

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