April 22, 2012
Kananaskis – Smith Dorrien Valley, AB
Rummel Ridge is another bump in Smith Dorrien Valley. Andrew Nugara named it “Rummel Ridge” due to its proximity to Rummel Lake, and documented it in his Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies book. This wasn’t a bump that I felt particularly interested in, but it’s a “peak” nonetheless and offers some interesting views in winter conditions. Having physics final on Saturday and Chemistry final on Monday meant I probably should have spent this weekend at home studying, but weather always had some other plans. A bluebird day was in the forecast for Sunday and I figured I just had to take advantage of it. My mom would join me and I figured the little peaks by Smith Dorrien area could be the perfect objectives.
The start of Rummel Ridge’s snowshoeing route was right by Mt. Engadine turn-off. The trail is well described in Nugara’s book, but without GPS it was still a bit confusing at places. Lucikly for us we had a set of snowshoe tracks to follow but only for partway up. Like Nugara mentioned we hit an open area pretty soon and from there we could see Rummel Ridge appearing as a treed bump in front. The trail then led us southwards into the trees staying on the SW side of Rummel Creek. At one point the trail turned sharply left (east) and crossed Rummel Creek. We left the trail not far after that and ascended straight up the forested slope. The bushwhacking was light and the terrain wasn’t overly steep and we made some good progress especially given the minimal amount of post-holing. The final section was steep and open but avalanche was not a concern on this particular day.
If Rummel Ridge is the only objective of the day, it’s also possible to scramble up the west ridge of The Tower to elevation of 3000m, but the summit is not a “scramble” from this side. We still had Little Galatea to do so didn’t bother with the optional extension. Plunging down the open slope below the summit and then the forested snow was soft and fun and in short time we were back to Rummel Creek.
The creek was easily crossed and I guestimated the place where we should leave the trail for Little Galatea. We felt good on energy and we were doing on time, so up we went again.