Added by James Hueser
Old Baldy Ridge is a really nice ridge walk and good workout for shoulder season.
Park at the Evan Thomas parking lot to and the trailhead is in the south of that parking lot. It follows a well-defined trail up for most of the way before you start gaining elevation. When the trail starts heading south, keep an eye out for a small trail that will keep you heading east. This portion of the trail follows a small drainage creek.
Along the creek, you'll start walking along the base of the ridge. There's usually flagging tape that will mark where the best time to start heading up the ridge is. It's a bit of a slog at this point, but just keep strong and steady.
You basically just need to keep following the ridge up, and you'll come across a small boulder field to pick your way through. Past the boulder field you'll be on the spine of the ridge. One of my favourite parts was when the trail skirted along the edge of the cliffs on your right.
When it becomes sparsely treed, the ridge plateaus for a bit - head north to keep following the ridge. The snow was pretty deep here and the trail wasn't very solid so I had to put on my snowshoes. You lose a bit of elevation and walk through the second burned area on the hike.
A small hike up the scree and through an itty bitty cliff band will get you so close to some great views of Kananaskis valley. A bit further to the north will open views to the north, and you've had a great view of the backside of the Opal range the entire hike.
The peak to the east is Old Baldy -- I'm saving this for a day with a bit more daylight and less snow, but player's choice! I imagine it'd be stunning on top.
Some people either ascend or descend closer to the tarn at the base of Old Baldy - I chose not to as I had no idea what the snow conditions were like, and didn't have a problem on the ridge. Player's choice though!
- Hiking boots
- Hiking poles
- Snacks and water
- Appropriate layers
- Sunscreen and bug spray in the summer
- Traction aids and snowshoes in the winter
- Bear spray
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