"Car died in Red Deer. Pick me up in Calgary?"I was in Golden en route to Canmore when I received this text message from Ross. The extra driving between Canmore and Calgary and then back again, plus the delays in getting through the road construction between Golden and Banff, meant that it was getting late by the time we arrived at the Canmore Castle. We set our sights on the ESE Ridge of Lady MacDonald since it wouldn't require an alpine start. Something I'm always keen on anyway!
The approach begins on the edge of town and passes though the Cougar Canyon climbing area. The route has a few technical spots (5.5ish) and lots of exposed knife edge ridge scrambling. It generally follows the right skyline in this (admittedly poor) photo:
It's a fun route but it did seem a little tedious at times as the ridge scrambling is interrupted by loads of classic Rockies rubble, but it's definitely worth a go, even if only to climb a local Canmore landmark by a route other than the hiking trail.
We planned to do a climb the next day also. Sadly the fickle weather toyed with us. First we gave up on Mothers Day Buttress, then Kid Goat crag, and then were left thoroughly soaked by a hailstorm as we stood below the sport climbs in Cougar Canyon.
Miffed, we messed around with Ross's mountain bike at the town's little terrain park instead. This was quite successful actually. First, we managed not to hurt ourselves. Second, we managed to impress some local mountain bike gurus* by riding a hair-raising narrow wooden beam** from end to end.
*Local gurus were 10 years old (I asked)
**The track was a foot off the ground.