Mt Carnarvon South Ridge via Hamilton Lake

Mt Carnarvon

Mt Carnarvon

Friday 9th August.

Read about this Ridge Walk from Mike Potters ” Ridge Walks of the Canadian Rockies”. As with most of his trail descriptions they are more of a rough idea than a set trail. That was the case with this one. The trail from the lake is none existant so route finding is the order of the day.

The Trail starts from the Emerald Lake parking lot and the sign for the hike is in the far right corner as you follow the one way system It is signed to Hamilton lake and Falls.0.7 km to the Falls and 5.2 km to the lake . I only made it 4.9 km to the lake but the elevation gain is considerable at 600 m. The trail is relentless but you do have the odd glimpse of Emerald Lake through he trees.

Typical view of the trail

Typical view of the trail

Hamilton Falls

Hamilton Falls

At this time of year there is very little water flowing.

About 1 km from the lake the trail breaks out of the trees and your destination is in sight.

Carnarvon Ridge

Carnarvon Ridge

The next one km give some nice views of  Mt Carnarvon and the surrounding area. Then the lake appears and it’s a good time for some well-earned water and a chance to check out the route ahead.

Hamilton lake

Hamilton lake

The next part of the route is a bit hard to find. We ended up going too early for the ridge and ended up having to lose some elevation to regain the trail. So the secret is to stay under and left of the rumble looking small cliff band until.

After that follow the trail at the top of the trees over flat ground and choose a good-looking point to head for the ridge. The rest is straight forward uphill slog to the ridge summit over interesting looking shale rock.

View of the way up the ridge

View of the way up the ridge

In some areas the rock has been worn into what looks like glass shards.

Looking back down ridge

Looking back down ridge

The views increase with every step. The best place to rest for lunch is at an elevation gain of 1250 m at the cornice. After taking in the views of Amiskwi Valley, Van Horne Range, Blaeberry Valley, Mt Vaux Chancellor Peak, Goodsirs and Mt Mummery it is time to head down but not before exploring a little further up the ridge. The way down we chose was by the cornice but an easier route would be to walk down the ridge looking for the open green vegetated slopes back to the head of the lake.

Hamilton lake from the Ridge top

Hamilton lake from the Ridge top

Yoho Glacier

Yoho Glacier

Towards the Goodsirs

Towards the Goodsirs

Looking back on the shale route down

Looking back on the shale route down

Distance 14.4 km.  Elevation gain to ridge 1250 m.  Total gain 1330 m.  Max elev 2595 m.  Avg  kh 3.4 moving.  Time 4:15 moving.  Stopped 2:15  Total  6:30 hrs

Hamilton lk

KML Google Earth

 

 

 

 

 

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