“Although it is feasible to traverse to Mount Lawrence Grassi, expect problematic routefinding between downsloping ledges” -Alan Kane
Location: Canmore, Kananaskis
Most recent trip: Sept 10, 2015
Trip time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Distance: 12.7 kms
Elevation Gain: 1,400m
Route: Non official
Difficulty: Moderate to Ha Ling Peak. Easy to backside of Grassi. Difficult, exposed and committing ledge scrambling with much route finding to the summit of Grassi.
Ascending the north gully of Ha Ling/Miner’s Peak is a fun moderate scrambling alternative to the tourist route up the back. Yes there is potential for rockfall so heads up, listen, and move quickly as you would under any mountain face.
From Miner’s peak follow the well beaten scree path to the Grassi/Miner’s col and descend exactly 200m on a perfect scree run. Traverse sharply left on a faint trail until you arrive in a small bowl under a series of ledges. A few route options present themselves here, we chose a line trending up and left toward the ridge. Tackling the first ledge, Joanna found a bit of a corner where we were able to stem our way up on good holds. After these first exciting moves there wasn’t much of difficult scrambling/exposure reprieve for the next 150m or so, until the ridgetop was gained. Down climbing would have be far riskier than continuing up. Scramblers comfortable with route finding while climbing difficult terrain will look for the path of least resistance while trending left to gain the ridge. Once on top, head north towards the bulk of Grassi taking a few intense steps over a chasm-like gully that plunges straight down and runs out back onto the ledges below.
About 40m up from the gully a weakness in the cliff band ahead and to the right presents itself. The most obvious line is a 6-7m pitch with an overhang at the top. Tolerable exposure and solid holds on good rock make the moves exhilarating (5.6/5.7ish). Once past this point simply track towards the now visible summit (up and to the right) on a much more reasonably angled scree slope. Return via the normal Grassi trail and the canal (about 4-5km) to complete the loop.