Little Arethusa

On 18 October 2014, I joined Rafal (Raff) Kazmierczak and Marta Wojnarowska for an ascent of Little Arethusa in the Highwood Pass area of Alberta's Kananaskis Country.  The previous evening, Raff and I had both attended a party hosted by Marta, and on a whim, we had all decided that it would be fun to do a short easy hike together.  Oddly enough, this would be my first outing with Marta even though we have known each other for several years.

Starting from the Highwood Pass parking lot, we crossed the highway and made a beeline for the southwest face of Little Arethusa.  This face is deceptively steep and loose, and we eventually veered over to climber's right to find easier terrain.  Although the upper mountain had some accumulation of snow, we had no problems hiking to the top.  We stayed on the summit for about 25 minutes before commencing our descent which was quick and uneventful.
I guess we're taking the direct route! Marta and Raff leave the Highwood Pass parking lot and head toward Little Arethusa.
Not quite ski season yet...but it's getting there! Highwood Ridge rises above the Highwood Pass parking lot.
The gully is likely steeper than it looks. Marta and Raff appear to head for the obvious gully.  They would eventually angle off to the right.
Looking strong, Marta! The southwest face of Little Arethusa is both steep and loose.
Marta tried to measure the angle of the slope with a special compass. The ascent of the southwest face is seemingly interminable.
Where's Raff?? Marta reaches the summit ridge.
Marta and I should have followed Raff's footprints and stayed off the crest of the ridge. Marta carefully picks her way along the ridge while Raff is visible on the summit in the distance.
Thanks for breaking trail, Raff! Raff waits as Marta climbs the last few metres before the summit.

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A...

Sonny, Marta and Raff raise their hands on the 2767-metre summit of Little Arethusa.

They were speaking in Polish to one another! Marta and Raff use a topo map to identify distant landmarks.
Damn clouds! Highwood Ridge (centre) and Grizzly Ridge (right) are visible to the southwest on the other side of the highway.
Of all the Kane peaks, Mount Arethusa perhaps has the most infamous alternate descent route. The main mass of Mount Arethusa lies to the northeast.
I climbed it 10 years ago under similar conditions. Storm Mountain is visible to the southeast.
Looks like Raff is already running down the mountain! Raff and Marta start their descent.
Marta did a superb job of finding the easiest route down. Marta aims for grassy slopes which are a little easier to descend than the steep rubble.
Can you spot Raff? Marta traverses back toward the original line of ascent.
Of course, the sky clears up only after we are nearly off the mountain... Marta takes a last look at Highwood Ridge and Grizzly Ridge before plunging down into the forest.
An excellent shoulder season trip! Total Distance:  3.3 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  3 hours 13 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  574 metres

GPX Data