Akamina Ridge is a popular scramble in Waterton National Park which traverses a ridge which passes within throwing distance of the US border.

Driving 3hrs one way for this scramble seemed a little excessive but we knew that the scrambling season in Waterton was a little longer than the foothills. Doing this scramble later in the year also assured us that that we wouldn't be bitten by ticks - something Waterton is popular for.

After leaving Calgary at 5:30am, we arrived at an empty Wateron national park at around 9am and proceeded to drive to the trailhead. It was very cold but the skies were clear. My partners for this day were my friends Yuji, Megumi and Tomoko. This was Tomoko's first hike... in her entire life ! What a way to start !

Here's the first part of the approach which involves a pleasant hike along the AB and BC border. The little obelisk marks the border between the two provinces.


Here's a look at Cameron Lake as we continue gaining the ridge. The southern tip of the lake is actually in the USA.


Here's a look up towards the ridge.

The weather was beautiful throughout the day but the wind was simply relentless ! Another thing Waterton is famous for !


Here we are approaching the rockband - the hardest part of the traverse. There was no obvious way up so the 4 of us took 3 different ways to reach the first plateau.

The easiest way would have been to traverse around to the right and gain elevation in small chunks but due to the ice/snow, we decided to head straight up.


Here's a look down at Wall Lake.

Somewhere below Yuji is Tomoko who realized at the edge of this cliffband that she didn't have the reach to grab a handhold.

Yuji eventually grabbed her hand and yanked her up. It was an awqward sight but Tomoko didn't seem to mind at all.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that she's a professional ballerina.


After reaching the first plateau, it was a simple hike up a large crack to the summit of Forum Peak.

A monster cairn greeted us at top but we knew we had completed maybe 1/4 of the day at most.

After a quick lunch, we continued on towards the highpoint of the ridge.


Here's a look at the Akamina ridge. It was fairly straightforward but pretty long !

The summit was marked with a puny cairn which didn't contain a register. Afterwards, I was told that the register may have been in the cairn ontop of Forum Peak. Dayum !


Here's a view of the ridge as we descend towards Bennett pass which marks the end of the trail. Although it isn't really visible in this picture, there was a patch of green rock along the ridge which made an interesting contrast to the purple.

Upon reaching the pass, a narrow trail (which seemed to be endless) snaked its way to Forum Lake and back to the trail we used this morning.


Here's a group shot at one of the backcountry campsites within BC alongside the trail. From L-R it's Megumi, me, Yuji and Tomoko. Of course there's no fire inside that pit.

On the way back to Calgary, we made a detour to Lethbridge to find a Japanese restaurant to satisfy our sudden craving for sushi. The recommended place to go was the Lighthouse but we missed their closing time by 15 minutes !!! UGH !

Instead, we decided to check out a Chinese restaurant called Shanghai Chop Suey since it was just 100m away.

What a HUGE mistake that was. The four of agreed that it was the most disgusting Chinese food we'd ever had. In fact, we only ate maybe 10% of our "Dinner for Four" before asking that it be packaged for take out.

After leaving the restaurant, we walked over to the nearest garbage can and tossed in the styrofoam boxes one by one.