Anklebiter Ridge

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I noticed the newest edition of the GemTrek Canmore map labelled the ridge directly above Grotto Mountain Pond as "Anklebiter Ridge", so I wanted to check it out.
Kyle and I went exploring on a nice day at the end of March.
The trail starts basically right from the parking lot. Walking down the trail a short distance, you can head north into Steve's Canyon.
From the canyon, a trail starts up through the trees. The entire distance here is a collection of animal tracks and open routes.
We gained elevation through the forest fairly quickly, and broke up into the mostly-rock area to start scrambling.
The ridge is loose most of the way, with only occasional sections of good rock walking, but the grade isn't too steep and we ascended well.

The path up from Steve's Canyon.

Looking up the ridge at treeline.

A small section of scrambling rock.

Kyle scrambling.

Kyle on the ridgeline.

Typical terrain on the ridge.

A section of solid rock.

Scrambling through a tree band.

Kyle scrambling up some loose terrain.

View out to Grotto Mountain beyond the ridge.

As we got higher, the terrain continued to degrade until there was a lot of steep and loose stuff.
Since it didn't seem to be getting any better, and there wasn't a specific high point we were aiming for, we decided to turn back.
The initial descent was straightforward, until we ran into a goat posing in the middle of the ridge.

Kyle descending messy rock.

Mixed terrain.

Looking on down the ridge.

Mr. Mountain Goat posing for us on a rock.

After we got some good photos of the goat, things got... interesting.
As we descended the narrow ridge, the mountain goat became a problem. He stood his ground in the middle, then actually approached us.
We moved off to the side to try to give as much space to the goat as we could, and he continued to creep closer to us.
For a while, we moved one at a time, while the other kept an eye on the goat, so we could try to creep past it without moving too close to the edge.
He did let us past, and we continued down the ridge.
Once we made it back into the trees, we were very surprised to run into a cougar.
He was just crossing the ridge in front of us, but much closer than I would have ever expected.
Given the narrow ridge, we preferred not to try to pass him and then watch the trees the rest of the descent.
Instead, we headed straight down the side to try to link up with the broader views in Steve's Canyon.
I definitely wouldn't recommend this descent, as it became very steep, and sketchy with the snow,
We were very very happy to find our way down to the creekbed- and even find footprints to indicate accessibility!
Unfortunately, we were quickly reminded that footprints don't mean the people walked there..
We ran into an icefall which concerned us, but managed to find a ledge route around the side.

The footprints that reassured us about the rest of the descent.

The ice climb we bypassed.

Hiking down the creek.

Back in the known creek.

Hiking through the canyon.

Descent on the fading ice.

Rocky-ice slide.

More interesting canyon formations.

A final look back up the creekbed.

Anklebiter Ridge from the parking lot.

Photos taken by Rachel

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