This blog entry is a bit of a back-track (as most of my entries seem to be). We did this hike back on July 30, back when we were stationed out of Kananaskis valley.

As you may have already read, out first attempt at the summit of Mount Lady MacDonald was not a raging success. Scott, Stuart and Chris drove to Canmore to attempt the station again (this time with a bit of climbing gear and ropes). Seeing the heavy cloud cover blanketing the town of Canmore, it was agreed that it would be best left for another day.

Hoping that the expression, ‘third time lucky’ would hold true, Scott, Mandy and myself went out the next day. The sign at the trial head explained that the past the tea house at tree line, the ascent was for experienced mountaineers only.

"Experienced mountaineers only beyond this point"

Mandy and Scott hitting the trail

The day got off to a bit of a rough start, with Mandy’s boot laces plotting against her palms in the parking lot and the heat encouraging Scott’s nose bleed. Regardless, the fearless hikers continued on.

The injured soldiers

Despite these minor setbacks, we made it up to the half constructed tea house in decent time, and ate a leisurely lunch on the giant helipad.

Mandy with Canmore in the valley

Scott with the tea house on the right

We made it to the false summit, just as the storm clouds were beginning to get uncomfortably close. In the interest of getting off the summit before lightning, hail and heavy rain came to join us, Mandy agreed to write field notes from just off the summit and not rope up and cross Knife Edge Ridge. Scott and I roped up and crossed the ridge.

Mandy on the false summit Scott roping up

Looking back southwest as I cross the ridge. Scott belaying at left, Mandy off in the distance on the right.

I set a personal record for fastest photo taking yet this season. I believe we were on the summit for under 2 minutes. It started to rain on us on our way back across the ridge, and down to the tea house, after which the rain let up. We got as far as 500 meters from the truck when it started to downpour and hail on us. Scott was actually up ahead at this point, and would have made it back to the truck, dry as a bone if it weren’t for someone asking for directions at the trail head.

The view back up the trail through the rain

Yet another fantastic day in the life of the MLP field season.

Winterstopper and the MLP crew.