Rawson Lake Ridge
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Rawson Lake Ridge - Sarrail Ridge

Mt Indefatigable looks lovely today! One of my first scrambles.

Sarrail Creek falls at the 1.1km mark, the left hand turn to Rawson Lake is just around the corner at 1.2km.

The scenic Rawson Lake in the cirque below Mount Sarrail, ascent ridge is at the back of the lake to the right

View of the ascent ridge

Looking back as we head clockwise around the lake

Nearing the back of the lake

The route up the ridge on a footpath with no switchbacks

A view of the rocky section which leads to the high point. Our group went just to the ridge top, not to the high point.

Looking back down on our ascent

View of Rawson Lake from start of the ascent slope

One tricky part as the trail is a bit faint here

Getting closer!

Near the ridge top, nice little spot just past the rock outcrop with trees on it

Allan A or yours truly

And again

The difficult scrambling section in order to reach the further high point seen just behind. Will have to go back and attempt lower down another day.

Hidden Lake to the left and Three Isle Lake just right of center

Mr. Phil catching the views.

Mehwa and Marco obviously enjoying the sport of scrambling! Congratulations you guys! Hard work but the views are incredible!

Just chillaxing with some of the best views anywhere! Got the chips, the treats, the coffee, what more could you ask for?

Rawson Lake Ridge – Sarrail Ridge

Scramble: Class 1 – Very Steep Hiking if only to Ridge, Class 4+ Difficult Scrambling to the High Point

Altitude: 2,380m (7,800 ft) approx

Elevation Gain: 660m (2,165 ft)

305m (1,000 ft) to the Lake, 355m (1,165 ft) to the Ridge

Ascent Time: 2 – 2 1/2 Hours to Ridge Top

Best Season to Scramble: July - September

Highlights

Rawson Lake is a beautiful spot in a high alpine cirque reached via a good switch backing trail, the steep strenuous trail beyond the lake to the ridge offers outstanding views of the upper Kananaskis Lake area and its surrounding mountains.

Always watch for any bear warning signs posted in this area by the wardens.

Getting There

Head west out of Calgary on the TransCanada highway # 1 for 79km (49.4 miles) and take the Kananaskis Country highway # 40 turnoff and head south. If your base is Banff head east on the TransCanada for 52km (32.5 miles) and turn south on route as above. Drive south for 49km (30.6 miles) and take the right hand turn into Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Follow this road for approx 14 km (8.8 miles) and take the left hand turn into the upper Kananaskis Lake parking lot which has the boat launch. If you go past this turn you will end up at the North Interlake’s parking lot for Mt Indefatigable which is approx 1km (.6 miles) further.

Route Description

The trail starts at the northwest end of the parking lot near the washrooms. This takes you clockwise around the upper Kananaskis lake for 1.2km. At approximately 1.1 km you come to the Sarrail Creek falls and cross over a wooden foot bridge. Just around the corner from here you will make a left hand turn and start up the 2.7 km nicely switch backing trail to Rawson Lake. At the lake to the left there is another washroom.

Sarrail ridge is the large slope on the right side of the lake. To access the trail to the ridge make your way clockwise around the lake and follow the steep footpath up to the ridge top with increasingly attractive scenery developing.

There is a higher point along the ridge but requires difficult scrambling to overcome. For experienced scramblers and climbers only. Assess your abilities and the risk before attempting. In viewing the difficult point on the ridge there did appear to be an easier route lower down perhaps 150 feet elevation loss where easier access may be granted. Further investigation on my part is required. On the other hand the views to just the ridge top are more than worthwhile!