Princess Margaret Mountain

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

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.


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.


Fab rappelling.

almost at the top

Almost at the top.

at the top

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


Leaving soon after summiting.

careful not to stumble

Careful not to stumble...


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.


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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