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Mount Lady MacDonald (2605m) ESE Ridge II 5.5 - alpine rock climb

An opportunity to climb a Kane's peak via a spectacularly exposed ridge where we will eventually meet up with scramblers approaching along the difficult scramble route.

Although people with relatively little rock climbing experience have climbed this ridge, you would be expected to have experience on difficult scrambles and be able to move with speed, be comfortable on exposed terrain, know how to rock climb outdoors and ideally have some experience with multi-pitch climbs including lead belaying and cleaning a route (remember this is an alpine trad route). We will be descending via the scramble route but we may have to retreat which may involve rappelling so you should be experienced at that as well.

The plan is to leave Calgary early such that we can be at the parking area shortly after 7am as we have a significant approach to get to a place on the ridge where we will rope up. I expect to take 10 hrs. This will be my second attempt as I climbed the wrong ridge in 2012.


I will assess people's skills via email from the waitlist.

Some Background Info:

Bill Kerr's Trip Report

Dow Climbing Trip Report


Equipment Required:



Climbing/Approach shoes

Locking carabiner + Belay device

1 prussik cord

2 additional locking carabiners (if you don't have let me know)

1 sling (if you don't have let me know)

Wind/rain jacket



Contact Alex with questions via email or at[masked]

NOTE: If the weather isn't cooperating then the trip may be cancelled (no point in going all that way to have wet rock that is unclimbable) so have a backup plan B so you don't waste your Saturday!

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  • Alex J.

    - From here it is a short slog to the upper ridge which works its way over to the true summit.

    - The scrambling down from the false summit is loose choss on slippery solid least you only have to do that once and only downhill!!!

    - 12 hrs car-to-car at a very relaxed pace

    Gear: - Even a 50m rope was plenty
    - I think we placed the 1-3" cams which were more than enough
    - Avoid tight climbing shoes

    July 15, 2013

  • Alex J.

    - First Cliff Band - Never encountered the "First corner" described on the web, as we went right passed 2 or 3 cairns and found a steep trail up which then went left to the "Second cliff band"

    - Second Cliff Band - which is found heading left along a trail past a couple cairns to where the ledge ends and its obvious to go up an easy 15m rockclimbing section.

    - Then the ridge gets exciting with some solid, exposed sections and the some of the best photos. We saw a bolt and another bolt without hanger. Too bad this section wasn't longer. - From here the ridge gets more typical Rockies, wider and looser in sections where you go up and down heading towards the Lady Mac scrambling false summit.

    - There is a headwall here that looks steep as you approach but this is where if you stay high on the ridge it eventually becomes an easy rock climb up through a 15m section with a bolt on top for belay if needed.

    July 15, 2013

  • Alex J.

    For future trips of Lady Mac ESE Ridge...

    - Ensure you know exactly which ridge to ascend. A year earlier I went up 2 ridges too early, rapped to the next ridge, and still was off by a ridge. Its the ridge before the big bend in the creek bed, before the fork. You will find a well worn trail as soon as you ascend and maybe a cairn marking it. - Although the trail trends right of the ridge, always look for opportunities to stay on the ridge. We had a short scramble to stay on the ridge while still in the pine forest.

    July 15, 2013

  • Attila L.

    Great trip, nice route, and perfect company.

    1 · July 14, 2013

  • shu y.

    I have never been so exposed in my life! ;)

    1 · July 14, 2013

  • Alex J.

    Chris found a tick...

    July 13, 2013

    • shu y.

      I should check too....

      July 14, 2013

  • Alex J.

    Wild ridge, great company

    July 13, 2013

  • shu y.

    See you all tomorrow!

    July 12, 2013

  • Alex J.

    Video of the route in Oct

    ***key thing is the map at the start...

    July 12, 2013

  • Attila L.

    I'll see your guys tomorrow at 6.00 am.

    July 12, 2013

  • Alex J.

    Looks like we will do 2 rope teams with Attila leading the other. Weather is looking good. See you at 6am at Shouldice near the batting cages end.

    July 12, 2013

  • shu y.

    I am very interested in the this trip. I have done a few multi-pitch trad route with my climbing partner in the past 4 years. We used to do outdoor climbing every week.

    July 11, 2013

4 went

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