Mt Richardson
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Mount Richardson - Skoki Lake Louise

Our objective appears from the trail to Halfway Hut

We took the very steep route and punished our legs

In hindsight or if I do Richardson again I might opt for the longer less steep route

Still lots of rock hopping to get there which is its own drawback

Looking back to Hidden Lake from the start of the steep slope

Very steep indeed, does anyone want to volunteer and build some switchbacks!

See the horn at the top

Once we reach the ridge top this was our view, the pinnacles are skirted to the right

After the pinnacles it traversing on the left side most of the way to the final slope

The final slope is loose everywhere in the first part, quite steep in the middle and a bit foreshortened

Looking back from the lower summit slopes

Steep in the middle part but just weave your way up on the bigger rocks

Once the slope eases a bit you see the false summit cairn to your left

From the false summit you see the true summit off in the distance

A well earned summit on a hot day!

Merlin Lake way down there

Mt Douglas and Mt St Bride

Adeem with Mt Temple for a background

Allan with Mt Temple as a background

Richardson Unique 1

Al heading on the loooong journey home!

Pika Peak with quite a bit of snow still on the Richardson Pika col

The traverse from Richardson to Pika not quite in season yet

Mt Redoubt

Purple Aster

Indian Paintbrush

Heading home

Richardson Unique 2

Richardson Unique 3

Mount Richardson – Skoki Lake Louise

Scramble: Class 2 – Steep Hiking, tough off trail very steep hiking to the ridge depending where you decide to ascend, farthest left is easiest

Altitude: 3,086m (10,125 ft)

Elevation Gain: approx 1,400m (approx 4,600 ft)

Ascent Time: 4 1/2 – 5 1/2 Hours

Best Season to Scramble: Mid-July to Sept

Highlights

This scramble is the highest peak in the Skoki area offering outstanding views in all directions if you get a blue sky day

Getting There

Head west out of Calgary on the TransCanada highway # 1 to the Lake Louise ski hill. Just before you get to the main ski lodge area you will see a sign for "Skoki" or the "Fish Creek Parking Lot", this is a right hand turn onto a gravel road and only a short distance later you arrive at the parking on your right and the locked gate for the Temple Lodge road.

Route Description

Head up the Temple Lodge road (3.8) for about an hour+, near the end taking the fork to the right on the road. This will lead you above the Temple Lodge and on the route to access the Skoki valley. At the small building and just as you pass the last ski slope head uphill for a couple of minutes to the sign and trail for the Skoki area. Take this trail for another 3.5km for another hour+ to Halfway Hut (outhouse here) From here you continue up the trail for perhaps a couple of minutes and take the left hand turn at the junction for Hidden Lake. Walk past the Hidden Lake campground on a gradual uphill to Hidden Lake, approx 1.2km. Total of 8.5 km to Hidden Lake

From Hidden Lake the off trail section to gain the ridge above and to your left begins. The farther left you go, the ascent to the ridge top is easier. I would recommend even though it is a bit farther to go all the way up the basin next to the ridge and ascend to the lowest point on the ridge. This will be easier on your legs. Most including myself ascend earlier and punish the legs going up this very steep slope and then need a substantial rest once the ridge is gained. At the ridge point where there are jagged pinnacles the trail goes briefly on the right side but from there it stays on the left side of the ridge to gain the final scree slope up Richardson. See photos above. There is a trail up the final summit slopes but I kept to the left or right on bigger rocks for better footing. Wind your way up and near the top you will see the false summit cairn to your left. Don’t be discouraged though the true summit is only 100 yards past this on the broad flat summit top of Richardson.