D5/6: Opal Ridge (Moderate Scramble)

Please read the entire description first.

There will be a test.

Opal Ridge (Moderate Scramble)

Distance: 8 km (roundtrip)

Elevation gain: 870m (Calgary tower is 191m)

Time: 5-7 hours

(Don't make plans that depend on it. It's the mountains!)

Difficulty: Challenging

Skill level: An average level of fitness with strong legs required

Pace: Slow

(If you are looking for an Olympic decathlon, you are in the wrong trip.)

Hazards: Mountains are dangerous places :)

Trail Conditions: Unknown

Weather Conditions: Unknown 

Opal Ridge North Peak is accessible from Fortress junction, where the gas station is. We'll go by Alan Kane's (p.138) and Bob Spirko's descriptions.


We'll start climbing up, then engage with a steep, taxing, slightly exposed gulley. Once we've done that, there's 3 metres slab climbing (see Bob Spirko's picture), which Kane calls the 'highest adjacent point'. This is where we stop and have a lunch, and enjoy the view, then downclimb, and turn back.  

Note that we will NOT continue to do the southern traverse, which involves some very exposed scrambling and unstable rock bands.

  • UPDATE: It is likely that we will attempt the Southern Ridge, due to the snow patches on the way to the Northern peak. We will decide it tomorrow morning.

An easy scrambling or difficult/steep hike experience is required. Thus this trip is not recommended for beginners. You may sign up to the waiting list. We want this to be a learning experience for others, so we will gather a group on the basis of balance (which means the group won't be entirely composed of highly-skilled scramblers). In addition, this is a very steep hike, so our pace will generally be slow. If you are fast summiter, this may not be the trip for you. 

During the trip, you are expected to follow the trip organizer(s) and stick with the group. However, the trip organizer(s) are NOT certified mountain guides, but only experienced hikers volunteering and sharing their knowledge. As such, you are responsible for your own safety and equipment.

Mandatory Gear: Backpack (20+ litres with straps), waterproof hiking boots, climbing helmet, ice axe, trekking poles, windstopping shell layers, food and snacks, at least 2 litres of water, gaiters, headlamp, sunglasses, hat/cap, sunscreen, first aid kit (minimum blister and wound care kits).

Optional Gear: Camera, map and compass, GPS, sunscreen, sonic balaclava, rope, fire starter.

[Do not bring the following]: Jeans, casual shoes (including sneakers/trainers), cotton layers, dogs and cats, small running packs.

Carpool location: Dalhousie LRT station parking lot, behind CHAPTERS bookstore.

Directions: From Hwy 1, drive on Hwy 40 to Fortress Junction. Park at the gas station on the left. 

Costs: Your 2012 memberships have expired last month. It's time for renewals. The annual cost is still $20 and you can purchase it at the parking lot. Non-club-member (casual day-hiker) fee is $5.

Please also reimburse some gas $$ for your driver.

Cancellation Policy: 24 hours prior to the trip. Friday late night cancellations will result in having 'No Show.'




Paul #[masked]

Ugur #[masked] 

Keyword: Jupiter

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  • Ugur

    It was a fantastic day out with great people! Thanks so much Brenda, Paul, and Philip, and K-country for making this happen.

    June 17, 2013

  • Philip S.

    A great trip!

    June 16, 2013

  • Mustafa K.

    I also want to say that as far as Wednesday went, from Grizzly peak there was no snow at all on South Opal, you guys should have no problems. unless it snowed yesterday and tonight ! I"ll be looking for pictures, have fun !

    June 16, 2013

  • Mustafa K.

    I just read the updated description sent to our email, I"ll have to change my RSVP, Thanks Ugur for the honest reply through the phone, but my friend is coming for online few days, I only have tomorrow to see him, maybe he can hike with us soon :)

    June 16, 2013

  • Ugur

    By the way, Anna will need a ride from the Chinook station. It will be nice if someone coming from South could pick her up. Hope to see you all tomorrow.

    June 15, 2013

  • Ugur

    We are going to do the South Ridge from the gas station. I just got a notice that there's much snow in the Northern gully. I've just sent all of you an email.

    June 15, 2013

  • Gillian

    Sorry Ugur, but I agreed to another trip for tomorrow already. I can't give 24 hours notice because I'm just seeing this now - 8:00 Saturday night. I see you sent me the email at 2:00 today. Have a great trip

    June 15, 2013

  • Mustafa K.

    just wanted to confirm, north Opal Ridge is actually not where the Gas station is, the gas station will take us up to the South Ridge (conditions are excellent as of Last Wednesday, observed personally from Grizzly Peak). the north summit is actually where Grizzly creek is I think or just before the Opal sign after Eau Claire parking lot, I tried it few weeks ago but did not park at the right spot and ended up at very steep trail. any confirmation as to which one we're doing?

    June 15, 2013

  • Elizabeth Maeghan W.

    Sorry I am double booked. I hope you all have a very wonderful hike!

    June 15, 2013

  • Aleksandra

    I am sorry but this time it's too late for me... lost my hope that I can get RSVP. Thank you!

    June 15, 2013

  • Lynn W

    Darn - just got your message. No time to get ice axe/ helmet. Thanks for leading this great hike! Hopefully next time!

    June 15, 2013

  • Mustafa K.

    it would be great if i can join :)

    June 14, 2013

  • Vishnu C.

    Sorry, already planned to do one more activity on sunday, as I was not sure whether I will be confirmed for this trip or not.

    June 14, 2013

  • Jane S.

    Sorry, really want to do this one but need to pack for the trip next week.

    June 14, 2013

  • Tony

    I hope to get onto the RSVPd section of this list

    June 8, 2013

  • Ugur

    Yeah, ice axe will be useful if there's snow on that gulley + much better for balancing and grip in very steep hikes like this.

    June 8, 2013

  • Deirdre

    Does anyone have an extra ice axe I can borrow? If not I will rent one.

    June 7, 2013

  • Cathrine M, A.


    May 30, 2013

  • Cheryl

    the keyword is Juniper

    May 28, 2013

  • Jane S.

    Keyword: Jupiter

    May 27, 2013

  • Jane S.

    Really want to try this one. Thanks!

    1 · May 27, 2013

  • Morgan

    Hi Ugur, how to sign up for waitlist?

    May 18, 2013

    • Morgan

      Did the window of opportunity pass by again...? Still unable to rsvp or waitlist.

      May 22, 2013

    • Morgan

      Thanks Ugur!

      May 23, 2013

4 went

  • Ugur
    VP Safety, Organizer 2015, Co-Organizer
    Event Host
  • Paul
    Member 2013
  • Philip S.
    Member 2013
  • Brenda
    Member 2015

Membership dues

CAD20.00 before first trip

This covers: Annual Membership

Payment is accepted using:

  • PayPal
  • Cash or check - “Payment must be made before attending your first trip of the year with CORA. Your Membership will be valid until the next AGM.

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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