Whitehorn

elevation: 2,621 m. height gain: 925 m.
area: Lake Louise,AB map 82 N/8
2015-May-31


I parked at Fish Creek parking lot and came up the front side to the top of the Summit Platter lift, a short hike leads to Whitehorn. I continued along the ridge above the Whitehorn Chutes to the north-eastern peak with the legal marker. hiking restrictions
Hiking restrictions to the base of the ski area, I started on the Temple Lodge road and veered to the ski run.
Hike/scramble: RT 5.25; 3.0 up (both summits). Fab was away to visit his mum and dad back east; I still wanted to go out to the mountains but I had to be mindful of our doggies and the fact that I had no back up. I chose this outing because it's close to home, it's short and straightforward. I figured that if I left at the same time as when I go to work, I could be back around the time I typically get home. With the doggies a little bit stressed from Fab's absence, it seemed like the way to go and gave me the opportunity to walk them in the afternoon. I left at 6AM. When I got to the Lake Louise ski area, the road to the base was barricaded so I drove to the Fish Creek parking lot. From there, several no hiking signs were posted at the entrance of the ski out leading to the base. I figured they didn't want any trespassing during the summer so I followed the Temple Lodge road for a short bit and scooted over to the Lowest Meadowlark ski run for a direct ascent to the service road. Easy plodding quickly leads to the Summit Platter lift and treeline. It's pleasant hiking here when it's this quiet. I recalled my earlier days skiing and touring the backside with a one lift ticket up the platter; I carried on to the top of the lift reminiscing. At the top, the summit is just a skip and a hop away, it took me 2 hours to get there. With some time to spare, I decided to continue along the ridge to the other summit above the Whitehorn Chutes; the Lake Louise trail map actually labels that peak as Whitehorn... The connecting ridge grants easy scrambling along the ridge crest and the views along the way are fantastic; the short extension is well worth it. I enjoyed a modest break at the top amongst boundary signs and used blasting caps. It would have been nice to connect with Richardson Ridge and continue the ridge walk out towards Temple Lodge but substantial height loss is required to reach the ridge. I returned the way I came and got home 10 minutes ahead of a typical day. Doggies were happy to see me and were ready for their walk! above treeline
Aiming for the top of the Summit Platter lift.
top of summit platter
Top of the lift.
extending the trek
Extending the ridge walk from Whitehorn, Mount Hector in the background.
nice ridge walk
Whitehorn's north peak with Mount Richardson (left), Pika and Ptarmigan Peaks.
section with rope
A couple of ropes span sections that require protection in the winter when ski patrol do avalanche control.
looking back
Looking back towards Whitehorn.
back side of louise
View into the back side of Lake Louise ski area.
legal marker
Legal marker on the northern peak.
backtracking
Backtracking to Whitehorn.
nice shelter
Nice shelter at the top.
back down
Back down the front side.
casual trek
Casual trek.
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