65 photos

Mount Nestor [2975m] and the Spray Lake ReservoirMount Nestor [2975m] and the Spray Lake Reservoir
Read's Ridge Snowshoe Attempt
Spray Valley Provincial Park, Kananaskis Country
February 18, 2013

We attempted to ascend Read's Ridge, just below Read's Tower, on the southern slopes of Mount Sparrowhawk. The trail starts near the Sparrowhawk Day Use Area on Highway 742 (the Spray Lakes Road/Smith-Dorrien Trail), south of Canmore.

The trail basically goes up, non-stop about 500m over two kilometres. A couple years prior we had ascended Read's Ridge and continued on to Read's Tower in the summer. The winter trail basically follows the summer trail. However, we were both tired from a busy weekend and had to drive back to Edmonton that afternoon, so we turned around before gaining the ridge. We may have tried a bit harder to make it, but the snow was so unconsolidated and faceted that it didn't hold. Many of our steps punched through the harder crust into the sugary snow, which slid out from underneath. For every two or three steps forward, we often found ourselves sliding half that distance downward.

After starting the descent, Jenn decided to try sliding down the slope on her butt. It worked good for a while, as long as the slope was steep. However, a couple times she ended up pushing a giant mound of snow beneath her for a few metres until the slope steepened again.

Trip Length: 3.1 km
Cumulative Ascent/Descent: ~320m
Mount Nestor [2975m] and Old Goat Mountain [3109m] from near the Sparrowhawk Day Use AreaMount Nestor [2975m] and the Spray Lake ReservoirRead's Tower through the treesMount Nestor shrouded in fog from the Read's Ridge TrailJenn snowshoeing along Read's Ridge TraliJenn snowshoeing along Read's Ridge TraliOpen slope beneath Read's Tower with a view of Red RidgeJenn snowshoeing along Read's Ridge Trali, Red Ridge is visible to the rightJenn snowshoeing along Read's Ridge Trali beneath a large cliff bandMount Nestor [2975m] and the Spray Lake ReservoirMount Nestor [2975m] and the Spray Lake ReservoirMount Nestor [2975m] and Old Goat Mountain [3109m]Mount Nestor [2975m]Old Goat Mountain [3109m]Mount Nestor [2975m]Jenn on Read's Ridge with Mount Nestor in the distanceJenn on Read's Ridge with Mount Nestor in the distanceShawn on Read's Ridge with Mount Nestor in the distanceShawn snowshoeing along Read's Ridge TrailShawn snowshoeing along Read's Ridge Trail