Mount Lady Macdonald

With temperatures in the mid-twenties celsius, light winds, and clear skies, the conditions were perfect. I decided not to use the car, and walked to the Cougar Creek trailhead leading to the Lady Macdonald trail. Most of this scramble is a hike. The trail is in excellent condition up to the helipad. A worthwhile destination in itself, the helipad was full of sunbathers today. Above the pad, the route is well-defined until the false summit. The final section between the false and true summits is where the scramble gets its ‘difficult’ rating however. This knife edge ridge isn’t long, but there are considerable drops on either side. It adds a good amount of exhilaration to the trip, and makes lunch on the helipad taste better.

The route from my place in Canmore to the summit of Mount Lady Macdonald
The route from my place in Canmore to the summit of Mount Lady Macdonald
Partway up I took a break to relax with the sheep
Partway up I took a break to relax with the sheep
Above the helipad, a well-defined route leads to the false summit
Above the helipad, a well-defined route leads to the false summit
Looking back down Lady Macdonald's shoulder into the Bow Valley
Looking back down Lady Macdonald’s shoulder into the Bow Valley. The helipad is visible just below the centre of the frame (slightly to the right)
The photograph doesn't do it justice, but this is the knife edge ridge leading to the true summit
The photograph doesn’t do it justice, but this is the knife edge ridge leading to the true summit
The crux of the ridge is narrow with small foot holds. I rode it like a horse, straddling the ridge with my legs!
The crux of the ridge is narrow with small foot holds. I rode it like a horse, straddling the ridge with my legs!
The drop off to the east side of the ridge
The drop off to the east side of the ridge
View from the summit looking back along the sharp ridge
View from the summit looking back along the ridge
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2 thoughts on “Mount Lady Macdonald

  1. Hello. Thanks for the valuable information. I have a question though: How far after the parking lot you would have to flank left to get yourself on the trail? Is that after the big net? I have gone parallel to Cougar Creek all the way to the end, I think but not sure where I would have to turn left to get to Lady MacDonald summit. Thanks for help in advance.

    1. Hi there Jacob, from the parking lot on Elk Run Blvd it is about a 10 minute walk to the point where the Lady Macdonald trail branches off of Montane Traverse. It is well signed. If you get to the debris net, you’ve gone too far 😉

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