Monday, May 09, 2005

South Ridge Of Lorette

While the south ridge of Mount Lorette up in Kananaskis is a bit far removed from Waterton, I thought I would include a short write up of it anyways. Outside of this link which may give people a little bit of an overly harsh view of the peak, there is little information on the internet (at least that I have been able to find).

The South Ridge is described wonderfully in Sean Dougherty's book. The time estimates of 6h to 8h round trip sound about right for an average party who haven't been on the mountain before. The rock on the mountain isn't good to say the least. As someone who hates the rock at Wasootch, perhaps I am biased, but I would take many of the piles of shale in Waterton over this heap. At least shale is predictable!

The South East Buttress which is not described anywhere that I can find, seems like a much nicer route. The positions are more exposed. There is more scrambling involved. There is also at least double the amount of scrambling as on the south ridge. This is good, because there really isn't a tonne of 4th class terrain on this route.

There is a very good game / climbers trail that head through the obvious meadow to the left of the ridge. It continues to where the scrambling starts. Things start off with a bit of a chossy step to gain the ridge line.

After this there is one more serious short section where the rock is thankfully better.

After this it is pretty much a standard scramble until you start getting to the knife edge section. There is one spot where a 10 foot downclimb looks improbable. It is actually fine, even if we did scramble beneath it just in case.

Finally you get to the famous section where all the images are taken. However, this is a relatively short section. It shouldn't be used as an indicator of the overall route level.

Even if it is exposed, this isn't as bad as it looks. You actually avoid the continuation of the ridge above where all the fun seems to be. Instead traverse down to the left heading towards some trees.

There are a couple of different routes that look like they would go. One includes a nut we left behind with a biner on it. The chossy rock certainly curtails one's options. Head down low on the ledge, and rope up for the scramble to regain the ridge. There is good pro on the broken face, even if there are more loose boulders than my local gravel pit. I would simul climb up to the next short crux around the ledge to the left. This will save some time coiling up the rope. There is a 5 foot section that has a 5th class move in it. Above this was the only spot I found an old oragne ring pin.

When things get hard again, traverse left, downclimbing some gravely ledges to reach a large shale gully. This leads directly to the summit.

Overall, I would say the south east butress is a much better route. If you are more of a scrambler you would prefer the South Ridge. There is less climbing, and less exposure. However, I only have gone 2/3 the way up the SE buttress before we figured a rope would be wise. Personally, I think the knife edge on Crandell is a MUCH better route. The scrambling feels more exposed. The second knife edge feels more committing. Also, the rock while blocky, is much more reliable. Also, combining it with a quick jaunt up Mainline or Lichen Line Right makes for a good day.


At 5/30/2005 10:49:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark has a comprehensive description of the route here . I guess you can keep on the ridge top. That means we missed the exciting climbing. Oh well. 

Posted by chris goble


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