Opal Ridge Traverse South-North

Opal Ridge Traverse South-North near Kananaskis, AB


This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars
12 kms
11hours
extreme
Rock Climbing, Hiking
Summer
Kananaskis, AB
User ChrisMarry
This is a serious scramble, technically really challenging and physically exhausting. Experienced scramblers only for sure to do the complete traverse, as you will need someone who has excellent abilities for route finding and hands on scrambling. Refer to Alan Kane's book for some details. Exposure can be extreme with very thin paths at least 3 or 4 times on the ridge. Kane's book suggest to do it North to South, we did the opposite and it was fine.

Max elevation 2590 m, gain for 1223 m with elevation loss very often
10-12 hours trip.

Directions:

Take Highway 40 to Kananaskis. You need 2 cars, one to park at 35 km from Highway 1 and along Highway 40. You'll see a cairn on the left side of the road, it's close to Eau Claire Campground. Then, you go to the Fortress Junction Service Station and start from there.
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Please check the bottom of the Description (above left; click) for the author's written directions.

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By ChrisMarryPosted By: ChrisMarry  - Thu Jun 26 02:29:53 UTC 2014 This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars Upside Stunning views all the way along the ridge, challenging, a real scramble! Downside Lots of route finding, not an easy one. Important elevation loss if you don't have a rope to rappel down a 10-12 metres cliff band. Comment We were with experienced scramblers-climbers, we definitely wouldn't have made it without them. This was a very complete and exciting scramble, lots of route finding, hands on scrambling, important exposure, scree, slabs, etc. You've got everything there!

We had a rope, so instead of going down along a cliff band in the middle of the ridge and loose lots of elevation for a while, we got to rappel down that cliff. A cliff of about 10-12 metres high. Interesting for a first time rappelling for me! Otherwise, getting close to North Summit (We did South to North), there is a very large and impressive peak you got to scramble up and then on the right side, you traverse along that peak with not so much space but still, good footing though great exposure. That was for me the hardest part of that hike. You'll have to climb up and down 3-6 metres rock bands many times, but most of the time with great hands and foothold.


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