Mount Lady MacDonald

Elevation: 2605 m
Elevation Gain: 1300 m
Mount Lady MacDonald was named after Susan Agnes MacDonald, the wife of Canada’s first Prime-Minister. Seeking a better view as her train made its way through the Rockies on the newly, completed transcontinental railway, she spent parts of her journey riding the locomotive’s cow-catcher. The Prime-Minister himself felt this was “ridiculous”. The peak was first ascended by J. J. McArthur in 1886.
My Ascents:
October 16 2011 (attempt), October 16 2010 (attempt)

Having previously hiked to the dilapidated tea-house and heli-pad high up on Lady Mac, Brianne had expressed some interest in finishing the job. Having never completed a “difficult” scramble, she was also intrigued by the possibility of excitement high up on the summit ridge. Mike and I had attempted Lady Mac under much snowier conditions one year ago to the day and were thwarted at the summit ridge so I had unfinished business with the Lady as well. Would we fare any better this October 16 than last?

One year older (to the day!), but none the wiser. Ready to give Lady Mac another shot...Views of Rundle and the moon on ascent.

With less snow than last year, the Boss and I made it A LOT further along the exposed summit ridge. For some strange reason, she seems to enjoy bits like this!

I don’t seem to share her affinity for knife-edge death ridges, however. By this point, we’ve made our way a good distance along the exposed ridge and the summit is just behind me...but the worst is just ahead.

Not earning any style points, but crawling proved an effective way of covering a great deal of the necessary ground. Unfortunately we were about to run into problems...

She’s a cruel Lady. That is to say that we eventually chickened out. Shortly before the summit, we met an exposed down-climb with enough snow to scare us into turning back. The star marks the point on the ridge we stalled at. Sigh. So cruel to be so close to the summit and turned back again. One thing’s for sure – when I do come back for Lady Mac, it won’t be on an October 16!