Mount Baldy (Kananaskis, AB)

I did this hike back in May, and it was definitely a great day hike. Pat and I brought our 2 friends Alex and Kayla, and it was their first scramble, so it was great to experience this hike with them. The trail was very steep, and you never really had a flat break the whole way, it was straight up. There was a lot of loose shale and rock, and as we got to the top there was a lot of snow and ice. However, we did not bring crampons and we did fine without them. Some of the ledges were very steep, so you really had to be careful.

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Info

  • difficult
  • 790m elevation gain
  • 5kms
  • 4-6 hours
  • 2190m altitude
  • scramble

The trail is really well marked and there is only one path to follow, therefore it was easy to find our way to the top. It was pretty busy for a scramble as well, so you will see people along the way. We only went to the North Summit because it was very icy at the top, but you can walk your way along the summits ridge. The top had beautiful views of Barrier Lake and the Kananaskis Valley.

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There are a couple options along the way, but they are there to avoid going up the really steep sections. It will take a bit longer, but it is based on your comfort level. For instance, when you are about half way you can go along a ridge (in the pic), or go around the right side. We went up the ridge, but Kayla and Alex decided to go on the side, which had more shale but less of a drop. The trails come together after 5-10 minutes.

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History

During World War II, there was several Prisoner of War (POW) camps in the area, and the prisoners helped build the Barrier lake reservoir. They were allowed to climb the mountain in there spare time if they promised to return, and this hike gave them a sense of hope and freedom. During that time it was called Barrier Mountain because of the lake and the prisoners referred to the mountain as “Old Baldy.” There was already a Barrier Mountain, so in the 1984 in honor of the prisoners, the mountains name was changed to Mount Baldy.

baldy

Driving Directions

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If you are coming from Calgary, take the Trans Canada Highway and exit at Highway 40, at the Kananaskis trail. Head south for about 13 km. You will probably see cars parked on the side of road, and the trail begins right off the road on the left. The trail starts right after a stream. It will be right after the Barrier Lake picnic area. You can park on the left if there is room, or drive down the road a couple minutes where you will find a larger parking area on the right.

Check out the Kananaskis trail report to make sure that it is in good condition Trail Report

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