|Elevation:||2998m = 9,836'|
|Elev. gain:||1325 m = 4,345'|
|Difficulty:||Moderate scrambling via west/south slopes.|
|Ascent time:||5 hours|
|Descent time:||4 hours|
|Location:||Banff NP, Canada|
|Trail head:||Mt. Norquay Ski Area.|
|Topo map:||82 O/4 Banff|
From the #1 parking lot, proceed past the Cascade day lodge onto a trail (rightside of fork) descending to a bridge crossing Forty Mile Creek. Across the bridge,moderate to strenuous ascent to the amphitheatre. Just before the trail breaksout of forest into the amphitheatre, turn right onto one of the numerous pathsheading towards the ascent ridge. Don't attempt to climb this ridge head-on --one hiker has died attempting that.
Only hiking with some boulder hopping is needed to reach the first high point.At this high point, you have two options: descend several hundred meters belowto a break in the cliff bands. From there ascend to the ridge at the base ofthe false summit (the rock wing in the far right of the photo). I first visitedCascade Ampitheatre in 1993. I started to do the ascent of Cascade Mountain butbecause I started this portion of the ascent late, I turned back at this highpoint around 4pm.
You may have noticed the contrast differences between the photo on the rightand the first one above. The above picture was taken from the descent route afterthe storm had passed. I got caught in heavy clouds on my descent and got off courseas a result. The weather and subsequent off-course adventure added at least twohours to my descent time.
Follow the discernible trail to the right of the false summit and circle aroundto the left. Trail hugs the cliff band here and care must be taken due to anexposed position. From here it's just a scree slog to the summit. I did notfind a summit register although I did not spend much time due to an approachingstorm (which caused problems on the descent). The second option from the firsthigh point is to follow the ridge and veer right towards the false summit.The two trails meet here
From the summit, you can see Banff townsite.
Return via the same way, ensuring that you stick close to the ridge crestbelow the aforementioned high point so that you end up back in the ampitheatre.
Back to my scrambles/hiking history.
©1993, 1997 All images by Craig Knelsen. All rights reserved.
Created: Nov 11, 2002. Revised: Nov 11, 2002.