Baldy Pass Trail to Boundary Ridge GR380492

A Hike Report by Daniel Cohen

7 October 2007

The Baldy Pass Trail, in Kananaskis Country, takes you from a parking lot Highway 40, and runs between Mt. Baldy to the north, and the Boundary Ridge to the south. It comes out at the Powderface Valley, on the east side of these mountains. The trail climbs slightly, and the actual pass, on the east side, is half-way up the slopes.

The Boundary Ridge summit, above the top of the trail, is at GR380492 on a UTM map (such as GemTrek), just above 2300 meters elevation.

Boundary Ridge is a complex of summits in the Fisher Range. It runs from the Kananaskis Valley in the north-west, for about 15 kilometers somewhere near Mount Bryant. Most of the summits are between 2200 and 2500 meters.

Only one of the summits has an official name, "Belmore Browne Peak", and one of the summits has an un-official name, "The Tiara". I did not visit these.

Elevation 1400 meters.

View of the summit of GR380492, looking east from the parking lot. This snowy peak is 900 meters above. The trail leads to the north of this, on the left, and then around to the other side, about half-way up the slopes.

This is my goal. But when I looked up at that thing, I thought "Oh no! I can't do that!"

Mt Baldy's south summit rises to the left, and to the right is GR369491, the first summit on Boundary Ridge. The trail goes between these slopes. I took this picture at 2:30 pm.

Another view of the same peak, taken from GR369491, the first peak on the Boundary Ridge, at 2050 meters and only 1.5 km to the west.

I took this shot last year from elevation.

Elevation 1600 meters.

View of the summit, looking south, from half-way up the trail, 1.8 km from the parking lot. This ridge is the northern-most "toe" of the mountain.

On the GemTrek map, this ridge seems a logical pathway to the summit. It's pretty direct. But from here, you can see it's full-pitch rock-climbing. I thought it might be possible to free climb up, but I doubt that I'd be able to down-climb.

I took this picture on the way down, at 1:30 pm

Elevation 1900 meters.

At the top of the Baldy Pass Trail is an open meadow. From here I hiked through open terrain to the left, I did not go through the forest you see here.

It's easy to find a path through these trees to the rocky hillside ahead. The final summit slope is just above.

The rocky hillside is actually a talus slope. I didn't understand where this tallus could come from. But it was all nicely filled with snow, about a foot deep, and should be easy to walk up. I headed straight up to the rocks, then angled left to stay near the trees.

Elevation 2000 meters.

It looks easy. But in fact the snow was very slippery underneath. I did not notice the slush until I was half-way up the hillside. The next step after this picture, a small slab of snow slid down the hill and stopped on a tallus rock. I saw right away, that this was a mini-avalanche, caused by the warm air and sunshine.

My only choice was to get off this hill. I stayed close to the trees, but in fact the trees were difficult obstacles themselves.

I got back to the meadow, and relaxed for lunch.

Beyond this trail:

From the top of the Baldy Pass Trail, looking south, and see the next two un-named summits of the Boundary Ridge. They are only a kilometer beyond my peak.

Here is a view from the hill, above the top of the trail, looking north to Mt. Baldy's south-east outlier ridge. There is a visible pathway up that ridge, and it's all dry and warm because it faces south and east.

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