Distance: 6.5 km
Elevation gain: 615 m View map Download GPS track
Having snowshoed to the summit of the north end of Kent Ridge
and the summit of a northern outlier
, we figured we'd try to reach the southern end of the ridge today. It's been reported as an easy snowshoe trip and being situated between two nearby popular snowshoe trips - Gypsum Ridge
and Little Lawson
- I figured it would offer up some pretty fantastic views as well.
Our day started with me slightly embedding the car in a snowbank right where an old snowshoe track intersected the road. I knew right away I was stuck, but decided to deal with it after the trip rather than right at the beginning; the overcast and snowy weather was discouraging enough at the time! Thankfully our day immediately improved when we realized the snowshoe track was heading up the ridge, thus making what would have been a strenuous day nothing more than an easy hike.
The initial 500 m or so of the route was plagued with significant deadfall and a few alders, but after weaving around most of it with the help of the packed track the going became much easier. The trees were still tight, but the bushwhacking was relatively light and the packed track of course made things quite easy. The grade was also quite gentle and in only a few open areas was the terrain steep enough that snowshoeing would have been difficult without the track.
In less than 90 minutes we found ourselves staring at the southern end of the ridge from a small meadow, and 10 minutes later we were standing on its summit. Unfortunately low cloud, fog, and flurries dulled what could have been a spectacular panorama, but the view was still quite nice. We'd planned on continuing north along Kent Ridge, but a cold gusty wind and the uninspiring weather had us change our mind and head back to the car instead. Digging it out was pretty easy and we found ourselves heading home much earlier than expected, largely because of the ease of snowshoeing along the unexpected packed trail.