The Snowshoe trip to Rummel Ridge is a relatively safe and easy ascent to an incredible viewpoint above Rummel Lake. The in-your-face view of Mount Galatea and those of massive peaks across the valley compete for your attention.
From the Canmore Nordic Centre, continue west on the Smith-Dorrien (Highway 742) as it winds up into the Spray Valley for 34 km, and find a pull out on the side of the road, just north of Rummel Creek. If you reach Mount Engadine Lodge you have gone too far.
|When to do|
December - April
Several day use areas along Highway 742
Yes - On Leash
Out and back
Anyone on a snowshoe trip should have Avalanche training, we recommend AST 2 for all backcountry travellers, and AST 1 is the minimum. It is important to note that when travelling through avalanche terrain it is extremely valuable to always have a companion.
Snowshoeing up Rummel Ridge is one of those trips where we seem to have to break trail. This makes the ascent a lot tougher, not only for route-finding but also physically. If you’re breaking trail, make sure you know where you’re going and have the fitness to complete this trip.
The Rummel Ridge snowshoe is described in Andrew Nugara’s Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies book, but his route up the steep west slope comes with some degree of avalanche risk. The route we use ascends the ridge via its northwest arm, essentially avoiding all avalanche risk.
This is a common route for skiers and the first 2 km are a relatively easy 300 m ascent on already packed trail. At this point the steep banks of the creek flatten out and you will cross to the south bank.
The route travels through trees, and you will find you end up following others tracks. Be wary that ski tracks likely are heading to a different destination, so don’t follow them blindly. In addition, you should be aware of your surroundings on this trip, it’s possible to get off the trail and into avalanche terrain pretty easily.
Finally, you make it up the easy grade to Rummel Ridge. From Rummel Ridge, the views are spectacular and make the trip well worthwhile. The rewarding views alongside the easy grade of the ridge when the trail is packed makes this an excellent choice to spend a day outside.
It is possible to ascend a portion of The Tower via Rummel Ridge, but we don’t recommend it. This addition is subject to potentially dangerous avalanche conditions and is not recommended unless conditions are stable, and your group has plenty of experience navigating avalanche terrain. There was a fatal avalanche on the ascent route up The Tower from Rummel Ridge.
- Consider stopping in at the delightful Mount Engadine Lodge for a snack on the way back. They have a variety of options for hikers, and their Sunday Brunch is great.
- Snowshoeing in the Kananaskis is a remote activity. Make sure you are prepared for an emergency with warm clothes, extra food, matches and ideally a satellite transceiver, like a Garmin InReach. Cell phones do not work until you get to Canmore.
- Always check the avalanche forecast for Kananaskis before heading out.
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