Rucksack Ridge, 5.7
FA – G.Cornell and Jonathon Miller, Aug. 2003
Park about 150m before the Kananaskis Village turn at a brown highway sign which is the same starting point as for the Six Flags bouldering area.
The ridge is directly above the RCMP/Emergency Station on Highway #40 and is seen as the third of the three subsidiary peaks of a even higher eastern grey slabby crag. It is a north to south running ridge, has fairly solid grey limestone ,has some exposure, and can be linked easily with the higher slab wall to the NE (McDougall Satellite)
Park about 150m before the Kananaskis Village turn at a brown highway sign. The route in its’ entirety is visible from here. The deceptive notch near the summit was cause for the ascent party to carry pulleys for what didn’t turn out to be the Rockies first legitimate Tyrolean Traverse.
Cross the road and gain a creek-boulder strewn valley and shortly follow a well-beaten path along the left side of the wash. When the trail heads up, drop into a creek and walk up it to a wide scree field that comes down from the start of the ridge. (2 hours from the car)
GEAR: 5 runners, 55m rope, nuts, cams 1″ – 3″, no pitons.
Start about 50m above the ridge’s beginnings at a short open book-corner. Climb up and move left from the corner and around right onto the ridge proper (5.1, 55m)
Hike up the ridge to the base of a steep wall (55m)
Climb the excellent rock via a crack to the top and belay at a bolt at the base of the next step (5.7, 55m)
Step right onto a steep, exposed orange wall and continue up to belay (5.7, 55m)
Follow the ridge crest for a forgotten amount of time, belaying when needed to a small grassy flats with two mini rock gargoyles.
From here the next 35m is very narrow and exposed. Traverse to a fixed piton and wither shimmy across or step down east under a bulge and hand traverse to the notch and a bolt belay. *this notch was the presumed Tyrolean-optical illusion (grade?, 35m)
Continue up the ridge making belays where possibly wanted for unrecorded distance to the summit.
Walk 75m to the big north scree slope and descend to the approach trail.