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Mt. Edith, Alberta, Canada

Mt. Edith is located a short drive north of Canmore, Alberta off the right side of the Trans-Canada Highway if you're heading west. It is a little difficult to see from the highway since most of the view is obscured by tall trees and the neighboring mountains. There are several good rock climbing routes on the mountain. I climbed Mt. Edith in late May of 2012 as part of a 4 day climbing trip with mountain guide Barry Blanchard.

Wednesday May 30th, 2012

I met Barry at the Yamnuska office in Canmore at 6:00am and we did a quick gear check before getting in the van and making the short drive up the highway to the base of Mt Edith. The trailhead is not marked on the highway and I doubt I could ever find it again. It was about 7:00am when we pulled up at the side of the road, scrambled across the ditch and climbed over the wildlife fence that borders the highway. The trail follows the highway for a short while before veering to the right up gentle slopes through the forest and toward the mountains. As you get up a little higher on the slopes there are nice views back toward the valley from which you can see parts of the Trans-Canada highway and Banff.

View Toward Banff

The trail continues to roll gently upward through the forest with occasional grassy openings. After about 3 hours of walking we exited the forest onto the rocky slopes below Mt. Edith. It was 9:45 when we put on our harnesses and began climbing. There were still a few patches of snow left from winter, but most if it had melted by now. We scrambled up the first few pitches with boots and finally put on our crampons as the ice got a bit more predominant.

Ready to Belay

There are a few corners and small chimneys along the route. On the left, we climbed up along an inside corner that was mostly covered in snow and ice. On the right, a small chimney that we encountered a few pitches later.

Some snow and ice,but mostly rock.

We climbed and scrambled for about 3 hours and arrived at the summit at 1:15pm - as it turns out, a nice place to have lunch and enjoy the view. Despite it being mostly overcast, there wasn't much wind and the weather was quite pleasant. There is a summit log book stored in the middle of a rock cairn on the summit and having a look it appeared that we were the first to visit the summit this spring.

Lunch On The Summit

After lunch we climbed down by a slightly different route. After a bit of walking and easy scrambling down we got to the top of the descent chimney which was filled with snow mushrooms. We dug a bit of the snow out and then rappelled over it to the scree below.

Barry RappellingSnow Filled Chimney

The pictures above show (on the left) Barry rapelling over the snow, and (on the right) the view back up at the snow filled chimney. This was the last obstacle on our descent as the rest of the route is easy walking over the scree back to the trail. We arrived back at the highway at 4:15pm and made a quick stop at Lake Louise for a snack before heading up to the columbia ice fields for the next adventure.