Activity: Hiking/Easy Scrambling
Distance: 10.5 km, round trip
Trailhead / Second Lake Elevation: 1,875m / 2,540m
Approx. Net / Total Elevation Gain: 665m / 825m
Trip Time: 6 hours with 1 hour break on ridge
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
I don't have any "rules" that prevent me from doing a particular trail, ridge or peak more than once. Tent Ridge is a trail I've done three times to date: September 2009, February 2010 and October 2010. Despite the rather yawn-worthy name, it goes without saying that Tent Ridge is a favourite of mine. The photos below are from all three trips.
|The area around Mt. Engadine Lodge is moose country.|
|The western-leg, from the Monica Brook basin.|
|Spray Lakes, mid-afternoon in September. From western-leg.|
|Spray Lakes, late-afternoon in February. From eastern-leg.|
|Monica Brook basin, from the bottom of the "U".|
|Larches in full yellow uniform in mid-September.|
|Recalling a Monty Python sketch about "The Larch" right now.|
|Ptarmigan in camouflage.|
|Beautiful scenery around Spray Lakes.|
|Ridge connecting Tent Ridge to The Fist.|
|Heading south towards the Tent Ridge summit via the west-leg.|
|Heading north along the western-leg.|
|The Matterhorn of the Rockies.|
|The western-leg of Tent Ridge.|
An important note about hiking Tent Ridge in winter conditions. First and most importantly, the Monica Brook basin and the NW bowl on the western-leg are prime avalanche terrain (a quick search on www.avalanche.ca of "Tent Ridge" can confirm this). I would wager that the safest route to approach or descend Tent Ridge is via the windswept windward facing slopes of the western-leg and then gaining the ridge as soon as the option safely presents itself. Prior to heading out, pay attention to the avalanche forecast, snow conditions and weather on the day of your trip. Know how to identify and avoid slopes that can avalanche. Avoid the run-out zones, particularly the big one on the NW bowl. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then don't go.
Second, snowshoes will be required as the snow level at tree-line will be quite deep, especially on leeward slopes. If the snow is sugary, you're in for one tough slog. Third, the ridge is extremely windy, so pack your gear wisely. Avoid descending via gullies or obvious avalanche zones--stick to the ridgeline on the eastern-leg for your descent.
|Stomping through faceted snow on west-leg.|