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A Traverse of the Southern Half of the Livingstone Ridge
Timestamp Free: 2019.06.25 - 03:59:24
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Livingstone Range
  (3 days)
Participants: Rick Collier Some serious and exposed scrambling, perhas to 5.4
The essay recounts a solo 3-day traverse of the Livingstone Ridge from the Old Man River in the N to the Crowsnest highway in the S
One of my climbing projects in the Rockies is to discover and traverse an alternative to the Great Divide Trail (GDT); there is, of course, nothing at all wrong with the current GDT, which is amply illustrated and discussed in Dustin Lynx's book ("Hiking the Great Divide Trail") - it's a fine route, with plenty of beautiful scenery to recommend it. However, it is also fairly well travelled and follows major trails much of the time.

A wilder and more adventuresome route is possible somewhat further to the east, in what is known as the Front Country. Here there are far fewer people, the terrain is untamed, and there are even some mountains that must be climbed. I had basically put together a good deal of this alternative by the summer of 2006, and you can find notes on these excursions scattered throughout my submissions to Bivouac. If you're interested in a sketch of how this route knits together, I have included a summary of the sections, trails, and backcountry trots after the conclusion of this article.

I do not (as yet) start as far north as Dustin's GDT and I am still working on the far south section. Essentially, my Front Country route extended from the Kootenay Plains (just S of the David Thompson highway at the parking area for Siffleur Falls) to Blairmore on the Crowsnest highway.

Except for one chunk.

This last bit of the traverse was the southern half of the Livingstone Ridge, a crest that extends about 45 km from the Old Man River to the Crowsnest highway, and parallels the Chain Lakes highway about 15 km to the W. And it is the most demanding section of this alternative.

I had attempted this route - or variations on it - twice before. On my first try, Mardy Roberts and I climbed up the N end of Thunder Mountain (which is the northern high...

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