Akamina Ridge Circuit*^ – Forum Lake to Wall Lake (Waterton)

 

Date: 10/16/2015

Location: Akamina-Kishinena Provincial Park* (Waterton)

Distance: 12.4 mile

Elevation Gain:3000 feet

Highest Elevation: near 8000ft?

Time: 6.5 hours

Akamina Ridge is a Rock Star of a trail – unpredictable in mercurial weather patterns, elusive and exclusive with his demanding rock face scrambling route, and unapologetically enthralling to every hiker who paid the price of admission.

Only 10+ miles from Waterton townsite, the TH is actually in BC province not Alberta.  Along with Crypt Lake and Carthew-Alderson, Akamina Ridge are known as Waterton’s Triple Crown.  It is by far the most physically and psychologically challenging of the three for me – proceed with caution.

Akamina Ridge (41)

Forum Falls at 1.2 mile, due to rock face scrambling, most guides recommend hiking the circuit counterclockwise – starting from Forum Lake.

Akamina Ridge (42)

Forum Lake at 2.5 mile

The scrambling  

Without the security blanket of a well worn footpath, hanging half way out in thin air, I was exposed literally and figuratively.  Out of my comfort zone, the trail demanded another gear within my psyche.  My inner consternation was quickly soothed by the serenity and grandiosity of the ridge.

Akamina Ridge (44)

The scramble was maybe about 100 yards vertically, but felt a lot longer

Akamina Ridge (43)

Now on top the ridge that leads to the actual Akamina ridge, most of which was laid out above.

Akamina Ridge (29)

Look down to Wall Lake

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Start of Akamina Ridge

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Looking southward to Glacier National Park’s Upper Kintla Lake, Kintla (back) and Kinnerly (front) Peaks with Agassiz Glacier resting on the shoulder of Kintla Peak and golden larches dotting the alpine forest.

 

Akamina Ridge (31)

Looking back at the ridge line traversed – this fantastic ridge walk is over 5 miles long.

Akamina Ridge (33)

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On top of one of the 3 knolls on the ridge line looking towards another knoll in the distance.

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Looking back at Kintla lake and peak

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Wall lake

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Steep descent towards Wall Lake

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Wall Lake

 

 

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