Princess Margaret Mountain

elevation: 2,515 m. height gain: 1,155 m.
area: Canmore,AB map 82 O/3
2012-Jul-22


Ref: Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association
nice pond


Nice pond at the foot of a waterfall as we start ascending the south ridge.
Scramble: RT 9.5; 4.5 up. We had been contemplating a trip to Princess Margaret for a while. After reading a couple of trip reports, we felt we had enough information to give it a try. We called the owner of the quarry and left a message announcing our visit. We also invited Fab's cousin Charles, who greatly enjoys fine excursions in the mountains. We met him in Harvie Heights and proceeded to park near the quarry road. We brought a rope for this scramble, we planned on using it for the 5-meter downclimb preceding the summit block. The approach on the road is quick and painless, we were soon trudging up light timbered slopes to the south ridge. Nearing treeline, the terrain gets rockier and quickly leads to a slab face. I was unsure if I could summon enough courage to execute the traverse to the ridge proper. Fab and Charles carefully made their way across and I tried to follow. The slab is grippy and offers good purchase but the significant run-out isn't reassuring; I asked Fab for a belay. After the crux slab, we resumed our ascent. Travel along the ridge is enjoyable and as it gets tougher, a cairned traverse into the gully offers a bail-out route. We reached the false summit in good time and continued towards the intimidating summit block. A cairn indicates the belay station for the downclimb; we rappelled the pitch and started up the summit block. We quickly reached the top where we took tons of pictures and signed the register. Descending from the top was a bit unnerving, I didn't want to stumble here! After climbing back up the downclimb, we had lunch basking in the sun. Going down was nice, we enjoyed some scrambling and beautiful scenery. At the slab, we used the same tree to secure our descent across the slab. Rappelling across seemed more difficult than just rappelling down... Now at treeline, the rest of our return consisted of easy bushwhacking on the south ridge. The quarry road is nice to walk on at the end!
crux at treeline

Crux at treeline, a steep slab with a significant run-out.

getting up close

Getting up close.

chosen route


Fab and his cousin Charles choose their preferred way.


off they go


Off they go as I watch nervously.


belay for me


Fab throws me the rope for a belay.


ridge proper


After the slab, we scrambled up the ridge proper.


objective in sight


The objective comes into view (right), we ascend the false summit first (left).


ascent gully


The remainder of the south ridge and the ascent gully.


rocky ridge


Fun hiking on the rocky ridge.


traverse


Further along, we traversed in the scree (cairned).


aiming for the gully


We aimed for the middle gully.


climbing the gully


Climbing up the gully.


upper ridge


The ascent ridge is not difficult, except for the slab at treeline.


nearing the false summit


Nearing the false summit.


scary summit block


The summit block is intimidating...


dropping around an outcrop


Dropping around an outcrop, I'm barely visible.


belay station


Reaching the pitons above the 5-meter downclimb.


5-meter downclimb


Looking down the pitch.


rappelling


Fab rappelling.


almost at the top


Almost at the top.


at the top


Yipee... Right on, right on!!!


leaving


Leaving soon after summiting.


careful not to stumble


Careful not to stumble...


backtracking


Backtracking to the false summit.


upper ridge


Descending the upper south ridge.


nearing the gully


Nearing the ascent gully.


down the gully


The ascent gully.


back on the ridge


Back on the ridge with Canmore and The Sisters in the background.


nice viewpoint


Reaching a beautiful viewpoint.


steep


Pretty steep as we near the slab.


charles rappelling


Charles rappelling across to the tree behind him.


fab's turn


Fab's turn.


roped section


We used the rope for this section.


park boundary


Park Boundary cairn.


quarry road


Back down the quarry road.
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