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Ascent of Tent Ridge on 2014-08-09

Climber: Marcus Lostracco

Others in Party:Sean Blanton
Justin Harder
Emily Compton
Mike Fitzpatrick
Wanda
Delicia Thompson
Graham Perkins
Miranda Byrc
Date:Saturday, August 9, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Tent Ridge
    Location:Canada
    Elevation:8333 ft / 2539 m

Ascent Trip Report

Last full day of the Rockies Run Tour hosted by Run Bum Tours and guided by Sean Blanton (aka Run Bum). Arrived at Tent Ridge TH in the Spray Lakes area of Alberta at 9:00AM with the plan being to complete the Tent Ridge loop in the counter-clockwise direction (the less-popular approach, apparently), which includes a 10km section of exposed ridge with complete panoramic views the whole extent. Our group of 9 hit the trail at 9:30AM ready for a big day. The ascent to the beginning of the ridge gets steep after about 15 minutes of hike/running and we arrived to the start of the ridge about 1hr into the journey. Amazing views, and it added to the experience being able to see entirely where we were going to go. We continued down the ridge, snapping pics along the way, and made it to “the Fist” around the 2 hour mark. The terrain on the ridge is rocky but of mild difficulty, enabling us to keep a solid pace. Some areas require rock climbing/scrambling to manage, but in moderate doses. At this point, Mike (the local scree master), and I were ready to split off and do some scrambling. We separated from the group and worked our way past the Fist through a challenging scree-loaded scramble to reach a grassy overlook we had spotted from the ridge. We worked together to get there and made it to the spot at around 3 hours. Hung out at the spot, basked in our achievement, and then cracked on to return to the trailhead to meet the group. On the return, there was still the distinct weather tower peak to traverse, which was a popular hangout area, about a dozen hikers were out there (giving us bewildered looks, as I’m sure they were spectating our scrambling on our approach). From there the ridge got pretty rough, and the trail became more technical. Easy enough to traverse but not conducive for running a steady pace. My legs at this point, are also quite banged up from the scrambling, ankles getting hit with scree on multiple occasions and the pain was starting to come to life. However, the descent from there is beautiful, which took the mind off the ragged state of my legs. Once down to the meadow it leads to an unmaintained trail which goes for ~2mi. This 2 mile section seemed like an obstacle course of leaping over logs and squeezing through overgrown evergreens. There were moments where we thought we had taken a wrong turn, but we pressed on and eventually made it back to the trailhead at 4h15mins elapsed time, having covered ~9mi with ~3500ft elevation gain.

This loop is fantastic and should be on the must-do hike list for anyone in the area. Important to pack enough water up here in the Rockies – I found myself going through it very fast due to the harsh sun. Other things I could have used for the scree spots is ankle protection (does this even exist?) and hand protection.

Following the run, our group unwound at the beautiful, picturesque Mount Engadine Lodge. For $15 you have full access to a spread of delicious treats and a full wall of teas. The place is run by 2 young girls that live in the lodge, working hard in the kitchen making all the food, pouring beers, and managing the guests that stay in the lodge. They were so nice to us! 9 runners can put a dent in some food, but they loved it and kept up with us no problem. This session was so therapeutic and relaxing, I came out of there feeling fantastic.

Later in the evening around 7pm we did a “Hash Run” through Canmore… in a hash run you basically run and drink beer (more of the later) along a marked course. Fun as hell.

The Canadian Rockies are so expansive that the possibilities for “epicness” in a day are literally endless.

Lessons learned:
-areas that seem unattainable from afar can be reached if you focus on making your next step in that general direction
-scrambling is hard on the ankles... scree can beat down your vital support areas of your legs pretty quickly.
-The Rockies are very dry. You suck through water very quickly.
-Streams at high elevation are safe to drink small amounts from. You need to consider the animal presence. If there are no large animals living at that altitude, then it should be safe to drink if your carry water is empty. Lesson learned from Mike Fitzpatrick.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Marcus Lostracco
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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