Centennial Ridge-Olympic Summit - Nov 7,2010

Weather was great so we ( Dan, Robin and myself) decided to get one more hike ( Centennial Ride-Mount Allan) in before the nasty weather kicks in. We were the first ones at the parking lot and so we were ready to go. Got on the trail head and starting walking and walking but the trail was fairly flat which was surprising us as the elevation gain was to suppose to be about 1400 meters. After 2-1/2 kilometers we realized we had taken the wrong trail ( oops) back to the parking lot. A 5 kilometer warmm up?? lol. We found the right trail head and started off about an hour later. Now we knew we were on the right trail as the elevation gain was definately there. Fantastic views once you clear the tree line. High elevation, challenging , unique geographical features. We encountered quite a bit of snow in a small scrambling area ( we used our icers on the way down). On the way to Olympic summit we encountered two weather stations linked to Environment Canada that gather information. The winds were brutal. We bundled up as it was getting really cold. Once at Olympic summit we debated about doing the 2 kilometers to Mount Allan but we decided to turn back ( those winds were pushing me around) and it was getting late. This is one hike I would love to do again and go all the way. :)

 

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Trail Details

In 1988, Calgary Alberta hosted of the XV Olympic Winter Games andMount Allan was chose as the site for the Alpine Skiing Events. Being only 83 km from Calgary, Mt. Allan was the obvious choice.The ski resort was namedNakiska Ski Area and is located on the northern aspect of a the highest elevation of Mount Allan's ridge, Olympic Summit. There are three mountains in this area, Olympic, Allan and Collembola and together they form a horseshoe-like massif which makes climbing the three in one day plausible. The main attraction other than the ski area are the pinnicle between Olympic and Allan.Olympic Summit stands at 2500 m, a good 300 m lower than Mount Allan which is the high point of the popular Centennial Trail. Centennial Ridge is the highest maintained trail in the Canadian Rockies. Built by the Rocky Mountain Ramblers hiking club from Calgary in 1967, it is the most demanding and impressive day hike in Kananaskis Country.

Directions

Head west from Calgary via the Trans Canada Highway . The drive itself won't take you more than an hour.

The exit to look for on the Trans Canada Highway is Kananaskis Trail (Highway 40 South) which leads to the Kananaskis Village. Some 20 minutes down this road which leads through the Front Ranges of the Canadian Rockies, turn right at the sign which reads Village and Nakiska. Go to Ribbon Creek parking lot.




Total distance return- 16 km (10 miles)
Elevation Gain- 1368 meters (4449 ft)
Max Elevation- 2536 meters (8242 ft)
Average grade- 16.7%
Time- About 6 hrs 54 minutes
Max Speed- 3.9 miles/hr