Crystal Ridge 10

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Crystal Ridge II
  • Location: Banff National Park (Icefields Parkway)
  • Activity: Snowshoeing
  • Height: 2,631 m (8,632 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 860 m (2,822 ft)
  • Distance: 9.1 km / Loop (5.7 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 10.7°
  • Estimated Time: 5-7 hrs
  • Technicality: Intermediate
  • Fitness Level: Moderate
Park at Helen Lake parking. Trail starts right at the parking. Official trail goes around the ridge from east side. You can stay on the trail until it curves left then go up the ridge or you can get off the trail earlier than aim for the ridge like we did. Either way you can do a long awesome ridge walk close to or even to the Cirque Peak. It's in the book "Ridgewalks" by Mike Potter. After a short hike, you will get out of tree and the route after that is totally your choice.

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Apparently this is very popular place. There were so many snowshoe / ski trails. Heck even Bob Spirko came a week before us.

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From the start, Crowfoot Mountain and Bow Lake entertained us.

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Once on the top of the ridge, now it was Cirque peak and Dolomite Peak's turn to wow us.

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One of peaks on Crystal Ridge.

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View from the first peak we reached. Mouse over for names.

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Sun dog and cloud trail. I can't quite figure out how the shadow of the trail appears like that.

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Ok, finally the first full member group shot from this 2 day snowshoe trip. From left, Shaun, Mark, Ali, Kinu, Andrea, Wil and So.

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Looking back the first peak.

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Two weeks ago, I went Commonwealth Peak just a day before Nugara went. He guessed that broken trail belong to me and it was, so he commented about it in his website. The same day he also met two math teachers, Dave R. and Dave K. on the ridge. Nugara also commented about the teachers as well. Here I was at Crystal Ridge, the math teachers and I run into each other... Little surprise for Nugara (was surprise for me too or for all of us actually).

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Shaun pointing to the two peaks we went after the first one.

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We quickly finished off the second one and moved on to the third one. Looking back the second peak.

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The ridge top of the 3rd peak was exposed one side. Far away I could see Mount Hector and Bow Peak.

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The ridge keeps going. This is a sweet spot. It only took us 2 hours to get up on the second peak. You can spend hours just walking on this ridge here.

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The 3rd peak was getting crowded. Rush hour rush hour.

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It had been a long time since my core 6 members + 1 got all together. Perhaps since last November?

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Drooling to go farther but…

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Another moment where I felt "this is winter!"

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I still have an unfinished business with Cirque peak.

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Shaun and I went little farther from 3rd peak making rest of them wait… After making members wait for 3 hours at Commonwealth Ridge, we have done it again!!

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Ok alright, time to go home…


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